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Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt

Professor, pro dean


Drivers of rice production: evidence from five Sub-Saharan African countries


  • Sultana Nasrin
  • Johanna Bergman-Lodin
  • Magnus Jirström
  • Björn Holmquist
  • Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt
  • Göran Djurfeldt

Summary, in English

Background: In spite of considerable rice production gains over the past 50 years, Sub-Saharan Africa is becoming

increasingly dependent on rice imports as demand is outpacing domestic supply. The serious economic and social

strains caused by this have urged national leaders to address production deficits. The aim of this article is to analyse

and discuss the drivers behind recent changes in rice production in Africa South of the Sahara, focusing on Ghana,

Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Mozambique. Considering the period 2002–2008, we model production performance

and changes in production amongst 317 rice-growing households using multilevel and longitudinal data. We evaluate

and discuss the role of three key processes: the role of commercial drivers, farm technology and macro-level


Results: We show that until 2002, production was driven by a combination of the three key processes considered,

while during the period 2002–2008, production increases were primarily associated with area expansion and commercial

drivers. This suggests that production lately has been more driven by processes of extensification than intensification.

We also note that in none of the periods considered, the share of the state budget allocated to agriculture

had a significant effect on production and that recent developments do not give any obvious support for an Asianstyle

state-driven Green Revolution in rice in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Conclusions: The role of commercialization in explaining changes in production suggests that policies strengthening

food staple markets in the sub-continent hold great potential for driving rice production in the near future. Due to

the scarcity of available land, the possibilities of further growth in the rice sector are limited without an intensification

of production. Hence, farmers also need to access new farm technology, and positive development of rice production

would in turn contribute to an improvement of food security.


  • Department of Statistics
  • Department of Human Geography
  • Sociology
  • Afrint team-lup-obsolete

Publishing year







Agriculture & Food Security





Document type

Journal article


BioMed Central (BMC)


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Human Geography
  • Probability Theory and Statistics


  • Multilevel data
  • Longitudinal data
  • Macro-level conditions
  • New technology
  • Commercialization
  • Change in production
  • Africa
  • Rice consumption
  • Rice production



Research group

  • Afrint team-lup-obsolete


  • ISSN: 2048-7010