MALI – Malian Prime Minister Choguel Maïga has inaugurated a paddy rice processing unit in Mopti, a regional project envisioned to give a boost to the agricultural sector in the area, Ecofin Agency has reported
According to the executives, the husking unit will positively contribute to the country’s move to attain self-sufficiency in rice and reduce imports.
The new facility has a 7,000-ton storage warehouse and a modern paddy hulling line with a processing capacity of 10 tons per hour with a milling yield of over 60%.
The processing factory was built by the local company Planète distribution as part of the Inclusive Financing of Agricultural Value Chains Project (INCLUSIVE Project) implemented in 2019.
The INCLUSIVE Project is a product of support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Denmark, and Canada which was initiated to improve financial inclusion for smallholders and small and medium agrifood enterprises in Mali.
Rice is the second most consumed staple after millet in Mali. Moreover, the county is the second rice producer in West Africa after Nigeria, produced by more than 190,000 family farms.
However, despite the Malian rice growers being capable of covering 93% of the country’s rice need, the country still imports significant quantities to meet the local market.
According to Rikolto Worldwide, the Malian market continues to import rice, because the locally produced rice is still not competitive enough, the imported rice is sold at a lower price and is of an irreproachable physical presentation.
As a consequence, the Malian producers have difficulties competing with their products hence they benefit little from remunerative prices.
However, the executives are hopeful that this new infrastructure will improve the quality of milled rice put on the market and maintain social cohesion between more than 1,079 small producers.
In addition, the local industry, which already supplies more than 60% of the country’s milled rice consumption needs, i.e. around 2.5 million tonnes per year, should further increase its supply to contribute to the drop in imports.
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