Several countries in Western Africa are dependent on imports of cereals in order to ensure their food security. Agricultural development projects have traditionally supported increases in productivity of staple crops in order to decrease this dependence on imports. This paper studies the case of a project developing rice cropping in lowland areas of Ghana. The project quickly encountered marketing difficulties which compromised its genuine success in improving rice yields. This case shows how it quickly became essential to strengthen the capacities of farmers, processors and traders so that the whole value chain could improve the quality of local rice and sell it to demanding urban consumers who were used to eating imported rice. Strong and coherent public interventions appear necessary in order to create and consolidate these local market outlets and allow the value chain to develop.
The notes published in the CEP Analyses series are 4 to 8 pages evaluative or prospective briefs aimed at the general public. Based on research reports, studies, expert opinions or data analysis and statistics, they propose an overview of a topical issue and favor comparative approaches.