Due to the increasing price of rice, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), have concluded plans to crash the price in all markets across the country by the end of the year.
This was made known on Tuesday in Abuja by Dr Musa Olasupo, an Assistant Director in CBN and a member, CBN Rice Value Team.
He said that RIFAN had assured CBN that Nigerians should expect between nine and 11 million metric tonnes of rice by the end of the year with the support of the bank, that CBN had financed the construction of rice mills to support food self-sufficiency and security.
Olasupo revealed that the 32 tonnes-per hour rice mill that is been constructed by the Lagos state government at Imota, has reached 80 per cent completion and will be completed before the end of the year.
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He said that Nigeria’s quest for self-sufficiency in rice production had continued to be hampered by issues around quality, price instability and harvesting/processing challenges, among others.
“The bank started the funding process since 2015 and it will continue to fund the millers as part of government’s efforts at revamping agriculture to crash price of rice.Once the millers are able to produce more, price will continually come down until it attains an equilibrium,’’ he said.
He said that the bank was determined to support any entrepreneurial initiative aimed at ensuring food security and safeguard the country’s foreign exchange from endless importation of rice available in different varieties locally.
Olasupo also made known that CBN was also funding other rice mills which includes, Labana Rice Mills in Kebbi State and Umza Rice Mill in Kano State. And Dangote Farms was also constructing five rice mills of which two are in Jigawa and one each in Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto states.
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He said the need to build bigger rice mills across the country is very important so that farmers could grow more rice paddies to produce more rice to crash the price.
Olasupo pointed out that there was need to encourage more people build rice mill in the Niger Delta region, as the consumption rice in Delta, Benin, Rivers, Beyalsa would be increasing to more than 200 million metric tonnes.
He also said that CBN and management of Bayero University Kano (BUK) had begun talks on how to develop a comprehensive blue print to fund rice production and processing in commercial quantity in the university.
In a remark, the National President of RIFAN, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, said that the volume of rice production must be increased from 6.9 million tonnes per annum to 10 million considering the continuous growth in population.
He urged Nigerians not to panic, assuring that in the next few weeks the price of rice would come down as markets would be flooded with local brands of rice. That with the financial effort and the involvement of the CBN and RIFAN, the prices of milled rice would fall.
Goronyo said the increase in the price of rice was associated with the high foreign exchange rate to buy inputs, the coronavirus lockdown and floods, that things will soon go back to normalcy as the dry season farming commences by the end of October.
Reported by OLADIMEJI OGUNTOYINBO,
🌳FARMING NEWS TODAY,
WORLD FARMERS CENTRE.