The state-owned Rice Expansion and Modernization Company, SEMRY produces less than 100,000 tons of rice annually ; an amount largely insufficient to meet the local annual demand estimated at 600,000 metric tons .
Available information from
Cameroon’s National Institute of Statistics, indicates that the country’s annual rice production fluctuates between 160,000 -170,000 tons of rice.
Consequently , 98% of rice consumed in Cameroon is imported from the Asian continent.
The government imports up to 85% of rice from Thailand, 7% from India and 2% from Myanmar.
Meanwhile Cameroon’s meager tons of annual production comes from four local rice producers amongst them, Ndop rice, Great Valley rice and Logone perfume rice.
SEMRY Rice Production : The stumbling blocks
Authorities of the state-owned rice production company-SEMRY, admit that the structure lacks adequate infrastructure to boost local rice production.
But SEMRY needs an annual rice production of 600,000 tons to meet local demand.
However, the company cannot not achieve the target production if new machines are not acquired. Authorities say the current state of the machines does not favor an impressive production.
In addition, business persons and clients note a preference for imported rice over locally grown rice.
Clients are neither accustomed to consuming locally grown rice, nor can afford it.
If SEMRY will cut down on importation, and stay afloat, local production must witness a dramatic increase.
The government is currently working to attain the required annual production . Gabriel Mbairobe , Minister of Agruculture and Rural Development, has announced plans to rehabilitate the structure, acquire new machines and boost production during a recent visit.
The entire project is estimated at FCFA 3.3 billion.
Kathy Neba Sina