Rice in Guinea Bissau occupies a very important place in the agricultural and national economy of the country. Traditionally the main staple grain in this estuarine country, it has in recent decades become the largest food import. Government policy toward the rice sector is complicated by its relationship to cashew cultivation – while not serious competitors in terms of land, the majority of households grow at least some cashew which is bartered for rice at a rate of exchange which de facto sets the relative prices between the two crops. This paper discusses the relative merits of alternative policies to promote growth in rice production in light of these considerations.


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