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Abstract

The prioritization of rice as a strategic food and cash crop in Rwanda has paid dividends, with production increasing by one-third during 2010'2015. However, production expansion has failed to keep pace with growing consumption demand. In 2015, around 30 percent of national consumption was met by imported long grain rice. The paper aims to single out the constraints which have been preventing the Rwandan rice sector to fully seize market opportunities in recent years. Looking at Nominal Rates of Protection faced by agents in the rice value chain over 2005'15, we find rice producers enjoy significant price incentives, mostly as a result of protective trade measures. Other factors, however, appear to be hindering investments in land, the adoption of modern inputs, and the production of high quality rice that can more readily substitute imports. This evidence is used along with recent literature and stakeholder interviews to formulate policy recommendations.

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