Ghana’s Rice Market Faces Uncertainty Following India’s Export Ban

Aug 22, 2023 | Commodities, Market Insights & Trends | 0 comments

India’s recent move to stop non-basmati white rice exports, in an effort to control its own rising prices, has sent ripples across the global food market. Being the world’s top rice exporter, accounting for over 40% of global shipments, this decision from India has raised eyebrows and concerns about a potential spike in global rice prices.

Ghana’s Reliance on Indian Rice

Ghana, known as the 13th largest rice importer in the world, heavily relies on Indian rice. In 2022, Ghana’s rice imports totalled $552 million, making it the third most imported item in the country. Interestingly, more than $100 million of this rice came directly from India, as shown by data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity.

The Impending Price Hike

The effects of India’s export ban are expected to be broad. Both the non-basmati and basmati rice varieties in Ghana are likely to see price increases. With the global rice market already seeing a price jump of 15%-20% since September 2022, the current retail prices of a 50kg bag of non-basmati rice, which sits between GHC 750 and GHC 800, might soon cross the GHC 1000 mark (about USD 90).

The Broader African Context

India’s role as a major rice supplier isn’t just limited to Ghana. Many nations across Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa depend heavily on Indian rice. A whopping 42 countries rely on India for more than half of their total rice imports. In some African nations, this reliance is even deeper, with India’s stake in rice imports going beyond 80% in 2022.

Looking Ahead: Ghana’s Rice Market on Tenterhooks

With such a strong dependence on Indian rice, Ghana’s market stakeholders are keeping a close eye on the situation in India. The country is gearing up for potential challenges as global rice prices show no sign of settling.

However, this situation also offers Ghana a chance to look inward and focus on boosting its own rice production. The Ghana Rice Project which we earlier wrote about, a beacon of collaboration and innovation, has already shown the transformative power of enhancing the rice value chain within the country. At its core is the empowerment of smallholder farmers. In general, when rural economies thrive, it’s often due to the success of smallholder farmers. Their prosperity has a positive effect on the entire community, supporting other businesses and strengthening the local economy.

Platforms like Cropslist, a leading digital marketplace, are stepping up to connect farmers with buyers, aiming to ensure that national supply can meet national demand. Such efforts, which focus on sustainable agriculture and economic growth, are key for Ghana to navigate the challenges of global market changes and become more self-reliant in its rice production.

In conclusion, while the immediate future might seem a bit shaky, the combined efforts of the Ghana Rice Project and platforms like Cropslist offer hope. By focusing on local solutions and strengthening smallholder communities, Ghana can pave the way for a stronger and more sustainable rice industry.

Sources used:

  1. Biswas, Soutik. “Why India’s rice ban could trigger a global food crisis.” BBC, 1 August 2023.
  2. Effah, Evans. “Ghana braces for impact as India’s rice export ban sends global prices soaring.” Pulse, 1 August 2023, 9:28 AM.
  3. “Rice prices in Ghana to skyrocket after world’s largest exporter Indian bans exportation.” Modern Ghana, 01.08.2023.


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