Thailand, China, India ...
Sell off their excess rice on the world market.
This rice enters Burkina Faso with no special import duty and forces down local prices.
Click on the photo for an enlarged view
It is August 2002 in the rice fields of Bama. A Father and his children prick out the rice. They have not got far in their work because they saw to their maize before working on the rice.
| || Rice culture is hard work. First you must prepare a nursery. Then the rice is pricked out, weeded, treated with insecticides…. |
In fact the farmers are not very motivated. They tell us that rice does not sell well. They make little or no profit.
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Men, women, adults and children, all work in the rice fields. But the women form the majority. After the harvest, it is again the women who treat the rice paddy (un-husked), as we will see next week.
| || We are now 25km from Bama, in the market of Bobo Dioulasso. At every corner we find stocks of rice from China, India and Thailand. We inquire the price of a sack of rice: 10 000 FCFA or11 000 FCFA for a sack of 50 kg. That’s 200 F a Kg! About 3 kg of rice for a Euro! |
You don’t need to go back far up the rice network to discover the origins of its difficulties: last year Burkina Faso imported 20 billion FCFA worth of rice. This rice is sold cheaply on the international market, at prices lower than its production costs. In Thailand, for example the state protects its domestic market so as to offer its producers a profitable price. The exported rice is also subsidized. As it enters Burkina Faso free from a special import duty, it is sold even cheaper on markets here than in Thailand! So the Burkinabé rice producers are unable to sell their rice at a price that covers their production costs.
It seems to us that this little journey of 25km from Bama to Bobo-Dioulasso tells us more about the causes of rural poverty than any number of workshops looking for a new strategy to fight against poverty. To deepen your research and to find a solution, you can consult : our rice file