THE CONFIGURATION OF COMPARATIVE ADVANTATE IN RICE PRODUCTION IN WEST AFRICA. Patrick Kormawa (WARDA, Cotonou) and Tunji Akande (NISER, Ibadan). INTRODUCTION. Agriculture is the heart of West African economy – 70% of population live on it Instrumental value of agriculture at independence :
Patrick Kormawa (WARDA, Cotonou) and Tunji Akande (NISER, Ibadan)
Changing life style
Changing work patterns
Rice availability and prices impact on the welfare of the poor.
This paper reviews studies which assessed comparative advantage in the production of rice in West Africa. The ultimate intention is to provide a guide to how rice expansion programme can be effectively coordinated in the region to achieve the desired self-sufficiency status, as well as promote intra-regional trade.
The major theoretical and analytical models contained in the literature and studies conducted on comparative advantage are as follows:
Not all techniques of production can lead to comparative advantage. However there is overwhelming evidence from the studies reviewed indicating that small scale farms which generally use simple tools and equipment in addition to manual labour are economically competitive, whereas large-scale fully-mechanised production practices are not.
The present patterns of comparative advantage have thrown up certain planning and policy issues:
First, economic integration envisioned for West Africa must be made practical through taking an advantage of agricultural production in selected areas in the region, which have demonstrated comparative advantage.
Policy must focus on: much land any of the prospective countries can further devote to rice cultivation.