Rice importer Ivory Coast is planning to increase its domestic rice production, which is currently estimated at 520,000 tons by the USDA, by 2.7 times to 1.9 million tons by 2016 to meet increasing demand, according to local sources.
According to Ivory Coast’s Agriculture Minister, the country aims to become self-sufficient in rice within the next three years with the help of foreign investment in its rice sector. He says that the ambitious plan is a part of a $4 billion investment to increase the country’s agricultural production by 2016.
The minister says that a French Commodities conglomerate has agreed to invest about $62 million in the country’s agriculture sector. The agreement is expected to create 2.4 million jobs in the country and help it to diversify from the dominant cocoa sector. The government is also signing investment agreements with other business houses in Algeria, Tanzania and Germany. The French firm will oversee rice production, expand milling capacity and coordinate marketing in the country’s ten production zones, said the minister.
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