CÔTE D’IVOIRE –  The Ivorian government has commissioned ten paddy rice processing units under public-private partnership (PPPs) contracts,  as part of its effort to boost milled rice production and meet the growing needs of the population.

Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, Minister of State, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Food Production, conducted the official handover of operating contracts to selected operators at his office in Abidjan-Plateau on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

According to him, each unit has a production capacity of 5 tonnes per( T/h).

Ivory Coast, the second-largest producer and importer of rice in West Africa after Nigeria, has long grappled with a production deficit in the staple grain. 

The government’s strategic move to collaborate with the private sector reflects its commitment to address this gap and enhance domestic rice cultivation.

Following the submission of proposals for unit transfers under public-private partnership contracts, the State of Côte d’Ivoire signed contracts with ten companies representing these economic operators, Minister Adjoumani noted.

The Minister expressed gratitude to all stakeholders involved in formulating and executing these contracts, particularly acknowledging the contributions of the national steering committee for public-private partnerships and relevant technical ministries.

The signing of these contracts paves the way for enhanced operational efficiency, increased investments, and support for the local rice industry,” the Minister remarked.

During the event, the Minister highlighted the Ivorian government’s commitment, under the directives of President Alassane Ouattara, to boost milled rice production and meet the growing needs of the population.

To achieve this, the government is implementing a policy to bolster the industrial sector, including acquiring 30 paddy rice processing units with a capacity of 5 T/h, translating to an annual capacity of 750,000 tonnes.

This initiative aims to enhance the operational capabilities of farmers in line with the growth strategies outlined for the rice sector as part of the government’s rice cultivation development policy in Côte d’Ivoire.

Minister Adjoumani emphasised the challenges posed by the global increase in rice prices and reduced production due to the El Niño phenomenon, which has significantly curtailed import quantities and raised concerns about potential food crises in many African nations.

In response to these challenges, Côte d’Ivoire has embarked on reforms to reduce dependence on external sources and mitigate the impact of external shocks on its population, while ensuring sufficient rice stocks remain available.

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