In the long and turbulent history of mankind one of the most important developments to civilization was the domestication of Rice in 7000 BC in Central China; prior to that for about 130 million years it grew wildly as a grass. Another variety of hybridized rice is said to have been cultivated in the Indian sub-continent in 2500BC and evidence also suggests the growing of a third variety in West Africa during 1500-800 BC.
Today, Rice grows on every continent of the world except Antartica. A staple food of Asia’s 3.3 billion rice eaters, it provides 35-85% of their daily calorie intake. Outside Asia, rice consumption continues to rise steadily with the fastest growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the past two decades, per capita rice consumption has increased by more than 50% despite stabilization in self-supply in the region, production constraints and the continued growth in consumption per capita means that the region will remain largely dependent on the international market to cover the deficit in its rice balance.
TANMONDIAL decided to capitalize on the regional market need and establish itself in the import chain of this dynamically traded commodity. Under the brand name of TANRIZ, rice is imported into the Sub-Saharan regions then distributed through our marketing chain bound for local consumption. The demand for rice has been growing consistently in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past decade. A prime example of the scale of demand can be gauged through one of our most lucrative markets of Burkina Faso. Here the local milled production covers only 42% of the demand and the rest needs to be imported to meet the need of the population. Similarly, Nigeria is ranked the second net buyer of rice and Senegal is the world’s tenth biggest importer. Rice has therefore, been correctly identified as a strategic commodity for food security in West Africa. As has been observed the preference of rice will inevitably begin to grow amongst the rural population as it becomes wealthier. If this happens, consumption growth for rice will be even stronger in the future than what has been witnessed so far in the past two decades.