Cameroon imported 728,443 tonnes of rice last year (2017) for 183.7 billion CFA francs, according to the National Statistics Institute (INS).These imports increased by 18.6 percent in quantity and 27.9 in value compared with the previous year, when they stood at around 152 billion CFA francs.
The rice comes mainly from the Asian continent, notably Thailand, India and Myanmar.
“In recent years, Cameroonian importers have been sourcing mainly from Thailand, as unit prices are more competitive compared to other Asian countries,” said the INS.
While 99.8 percent of rice imports come from Asia, Thailand with 85 percent is by far the highest, followed by India 7 percent and Myanmar 2 percent.
Despite the increase, Cameroon is still far from the peak of rice imports in 2013, which amounted to 212.6 billion CFA francs, according to the INS.
The INS also reported local paddy rice production increased by 12 percent to 311,674 tonnes in 2016, which is well below the soaring domestic demand.