Guinea Bissau: Government plans to increase rice production and cancels import tax

15 May 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 15 May – The government of Guinea Bissau plans to increase rice production and has decided to cancel the import tax on rice in order to reduce the impact of price rises, the country’s economy minister, Abubacar Demba Dahaba said in Maputo Monday.

“We are very concerned about the rise in price of rice,” Dahaba said on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the African Development bank in Maputo, adding that the only solution was to increase production as cancelling the import tax was only a temporary measure.

The price of rice more than doubled last year having this year reached a record of US$25.07 per 100 pounds in weight, as producers such as China and Vietnam reduce their exports.

Guinea Bissau, which is one of the world’s poorest countries, produced around 400,000 tonnes of rice last year and imported 80,000 tonnes, the minister said, adding that the country was seeking foreign aid to increase its rice production five-fold. (macauhub)