Published On: Thu, Nov 23rd, 2017

Nigeria Very Close To Achieving Self-Sufficiency In Rice – Minister

Nigeria Very Close To Achieving Self-Sufficiency In Rice – Minister

Nigeria Very Close To Achieving Self-Sufficiency In Rice – Minister

 

The Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has drastically cut

rice importation and moved Nigeria very close to achieving

self-sufficiency in rice, a major staple food in the country, in just

two years, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai

Mohammed, has said.

 

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister –

quoting figures from the Thailand Rice Exporters Association – said

rice importation from Thailand, which supplies the bulk of the

parboiled rice being imported into Nigeria, dropped from 644,131

Metric Tonnes to about 21,000 MT between September 2015 and September

2017.

 

”We are happy to tell Nigerians of a giant stride made by the

Administration in the agriculture sector, specifically rice

production: Nigeria is inching closer to achieving self-sufficiency in

rice, due to the success recorded by the Administration in the local

production of rice,” he said.

 

Alhaji Mohammed said that as a result of the Administration’s success

in local production, some investors from Thailand have even shown

interest in establishing rice milling plants in Nigeria, a development

he said would further boost rice production in Nigeria.

 

”A few years ago, this (Thai investors establishing rice mills in

Nigeria) would not have been possible since Nigeria was not considered

a top rice producing country. Today, Nigeria is one of the largest

producers of rice,” he said.

 

The Minister said the increase in rice production across the country

did not happen by accident, but was largely due to the Anchor

Borrowers’ Programme, initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari to

support farmers through inputs distribution and loans to boost rice

production, and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, among others.

 

He said the increased rice production has, in turn, led to the

establishment of rice mills, including the 120,000MT WACOT Mill in

Kebbi and the 1,000,000MT Dangote Rice Mill.

 

Alhaji Mohammed said with the Administration targetting rice

production of 7 million MT by 2018, the country was closer than ever

to achieving self-sufficiency in rice, going by the fact that as at

2015, rice demand in the country was 6.3 million MT.

 

He said the increased production was bound to force down the price of

locally-produced rice and provide succour to Nigerians.

 

The press conference was the latest in a series initiated by the

Minister of Information and Culture to highlight the achievements of

the Buhari Administration.

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