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AGRICULTURE IN SENEGAL, A GROWING SECTOR

The development of agriculture is at the heart of the Senegal Emergent Plan (PSE) through the program component of Recovery and Acceleration of the Agricultural Cadence in Senegal (PRACAS). This component stipulates rice self-sufficiency through irrigated and rainfed rice production, peanut production as part of a value chain approach and the development of market gardening and horticulture, a segment dedicated mainly to exports.


The agricultural potential of this Sahelian country, member of the West African Economic Monetary Union (UEMOA) and the Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is varied. The exploitable lands are vast especially in the Senegal River Valley and in Casamance, privileged areas of rice cultivation, but also in the region of Baol, the historic peanut basin. Value chains are being set up and important processing industries are already operational. The country has the capacity to move from a net importer of food to an exporter.


To cover the country's rice requirements, production of rice is expected to rise from an average of 300 000 tonnes per year to 1.6 million tonnes of paddy rice (unprocessed rice) in 2018. The Senegalese Ministry of Agriculture and Food Agriculture estimated at CFA 800 billion the investment needs necessary to achieve this objective. Rice self-sufficiency will have positive macroeconomic consequences by reducing imports that mobilize an average of CFA 150 billion in foreign exchange per year and account for 16% of the trade balance deficit.


The PSE projections also include a production of 1 million tonnes of groundnuts by 2017. This momentum is accompanied by a substitution policy strategy of 20 to 30% of imported oils by local production. This presupposes a process of upgrading and extending the industrial peanut-processing tool.


In this context, the PSE is accompanied by a number of reforms including the facilitation of access to land and the establishment of a legal framework adapted to exporting companies. While the purpose of cereal cultivation is first to satisfy national needs and the groundnut sector is backed by local mills, there is a third sector with high export potential: horticulture.


The PSE foresees the establishment of 100 to 150 integrated farm farms, particularly in the field of horticulture, cereal crops and poultry farming. In the end, the aim is to reorganize the production around the agro poles in order to develop processing and agri-food. In addition to industrial agricultural production, the niches of organic farming contain a certain potential for export development provided that producers are organized in the labelling and accompany them in the marketing circuits.

 

The export potential of horticulture


Indeed, in addition to cereals and peanuts, it should be noted the sharp increase in exports of horticultural products, which rose from 9,300 tons in 2000 to 67,000 in 2013, an increase of 700%. This progression was also accompanied by a diversification of exports that came out of the single-product (green beans) to embrace a wider range (green beans, tomatoes, melons, sweet corn, radishes, watermelons...).


The socio-economic impact on the rural world is important. The sector employs 15,000 permanent staff and has an export turnover of 100 million euros. These horticultural crops, which are only possible during the so-called cold season between November and March, attract many international investors. The significant increase in exports positions ("Origine Sénégal") of Senegalese origin on the markets of the European Union. Located at the intersection of sea routes, close to Europe (5 hours by plane) and modern port and airport infrastructures, Senegal has a significant margin of development of the fruit and vegetable sector.


While welcoming the measures contained in the PSE, operators believe that the improvement of certain aspects of the sector's accompanying policy will contribute to increasing the attractiveness of Senegal. Thus, the popularization of the new General Tax Code in its application modalities is essential to improve relations between administrators and administrated. As the application of tax treaties with certain EU countries, recipients of exports will result in an increase in volumes of agricultural products labelled "Origine Sénégal".


The competitiveness of horticulture in Senegal is certainly based on intrinsic factors but also a good support for the sector and legal and tax security. Stabilization of the status of Free Export Enterprises (EFE) seems essential as the main framework for the export of horticultural products.


The lack of new approvals issued since 2013 and the delisting threats weighing on this tax lifting since 2012 are forcing investors to be cautious. Granted to agricultural, industrial and tele-service companies that export at least 80% of their production, the status of Free Export Company (EFE) allows to benefit from a corporate tax rate of 15%, in addition exemption from the tax on wages, registration and stamp duties, the contribution of patents and duties and taxes on production equipment and raw materials.


In order to provide greater security for investors, the State must address the land issue subject to environmental constraints (Environment Code), including clarifying the privileges of the various stakeholders. The risks of speculation remain significant. The difficulty of obtaining leases from the State, the absence of a systematic policy of valuation of land capital through land titles are among the reasons for the cautiousness of the banking sector for agriculture in general.

 

Breeding of livestock: modernization and structuring


The breeding in Senegal evolves in a mainly traditional. The PES provides for the accelerated development of the livestock-meat, milk, leather and hides and poultry farming sectors through investments in the reinforcement of processing, conservation and marketing infrastructures for animal production.


Livestock contributes 29.1% to the primary sector and 4.2% to Senegal's GDP over the period 2000-2012. This sub-sector plays a very important socio-economic role: 350 000 families, or about 3 million people live from livestock. According to the livestock management, Senegal had in 2010 about 3 million head of cattle, more than 4 million sheep and 5 million goats, a livestock capital worth 550 billion CFA (1.2 billion dollars).


Only 10% of this capital is exploited. In 2012, meat production was estimated at 189 729 tonnes, of which 41% for beef and 30% for poultry. The poultry sector benefits from a change in food consumption. Indeed, since 2000, Senegalese people tend to consume more chicken. The share of this consumer product has soared from 19% in 2000 to 37% in 2007 *. Poultry farming represents 17% of livestock GDP with an estimated turnover of 130 billion CFA francs in 2011 and 500,000 direct and indirect jobs.


The sector has been banned from importing chickens since 2005.


Currently underdeveloped, aquaculture presents enormous opportunities given the evolution of national and international demand and the willingness of public authorities to develop industrial integrated industrial transformation poles.


The great challenge of livestock farming in Senegal remains the transformation of an extensive pastoral system (more and more constraining given the development of agriculture) towards industrialization and productivity. This involves massive investments in the value chain, from farms at the slaughterhouse to a modernized marketing system. Livestock monitoring, mass vaccination, artificial insemination, stabilization and development of fodder crops constitute the necessary route from traditional breeding to productive breeding.

 



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