Rice is the third most important food crop in Kenya after maize and wheat. Small scale farmers under the National Irrigation Board (NIB) managed irrigation schemes produce an estimated ninety-five percent of all Kenya's crop. The remaining five percent is produced in low yield, rain-fed conditions. In addition to the traditional Basmati variety which is grown under flooded conditions, the New Rice for Africa (NERICA) variety is now being promoted under rain-fed conditions in the highlands. Rice production is expected to benefit from the increased investment by GOK and partners in new irrigation projects and the rehabilitation of existing schemes.

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), in partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is currently spearheading research programs geared towards developing high-yielding, high-protein rice varieties whose production require less water.

Kenya's Department of Agriculture estimates the consumption growth for rice at 11 percent per year, attributed to population growth and urbanization. The local production can barely cope and imports have increased rapidly to offset the deficit. Rice imports into Kenya are mainly from Pakistan, Vietnam, Thailand, and India. Sources also indicate substantial unrecorded imports from Tanzania. The applicable EAC external tariff is 75 percent ad valorem or $200 USD per ton, whichever is higher. The EAC has however allowed Kenya, on account of low local and regional production, to apply a 35 percent ad-valorem tariff on imports from outside the EAC, a concession that must be renewed each year.

Rice: Production, Supply and Distribution (PSD) Table

Rice, Milled

2013/2014

2014/2015

2015/2016

Market Begin Year

Oct 2013

Oct 2014

Oct 2015

Kenya

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

USDA Official

New post

Area Harvested

28

32

25

35

35

Beginning Stocks

100

100

142

70

72

Milled Production

97

60

79

70

75

Rough Production

147

91

120

106

114

Milling Rate (.9999)

6,600

6,600

6,600

6,600

6,600

MY Imports

430

400

420

420

430

TY Imports

440

440

480

450

460

TY Imp. from U.S.

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

627

560

641

560

577

MY Exports

10

10

10

8

10

TY Exports

10

10

10

10

10

Consumption and Residual

475

480

495

480

500

Ending Stocks

142

70

136

72

67

Total Distribution

627

560

641

560

577

1000 HA, 1000 MT, MT/HA