Rice parboiling

Within the rice value chain, parboiling of paddy is predominantly done by rural women who are either parboiling their own paddy or offering parboiling services for a fee (usually about N200-N300 per 75kg bag). When women parboil their own rice, prevailing socio-cultural constraints mean that women are often not able to go to the market to sell their parboiled rice. This makes them dependent on male members of their family to carry out market-related transactions or leaves them at the mercy of middle men. In addition, business practices by some parboilers like leaving paddy partially wet to increase the weight of paddy bags has created mistrust in the relationship between women parboilers and middle men/rice traders.

An assessment conducted by Propcom Mai-karfi (PM) revealed that the women parboilers assessed were interested in improving the production side of their business and were already making an effort towards that. However, they have had no capacity building in managing the marketing and sales end of their business, and have been unable to form an association or other body that would help them to protect their interests.

PM is currently intervening in this market utilising a holistic approach to address the challenges faced by women rice parboilers. PM is working to address the following:

This intervention has been designed to feed into PM’s overall women’s economic empowerment goal by raising the incomes of women rice parboilers and empowering them to hold their own within the markets in which they operate.