Nigeria has banned the importation of rice due to current surplus rice production that is expected to exceed the targeted production in 2017 according to Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Dvelopment, chief Audu Ogbeh reports Today.
“We are now rice sufficient in the country. By 2017, Nigeria will be self-sufficient in rice production.” Said the Ministry’s Director of Planning, Musa Alhassan
Most of the rice consumed in the West African nation is imported, which has over the year’s exerted undue pressure on the country’s scarce foreign exchange according to the Ministry. The Ministry further added that it was as a result of Nigeria’s inability to produce sufficient paddy rice to meet the demand.
“But the strategic implementation of Rice Supply Chain of the Agribusiness Supplier Development Programme would lead to an increased availability of domestic agro-inputs supply, enhance production and reduce post-harvest losses, support the private sector and create market linkages.”
Rice and cassava are the two major crops in Nigeria with multiple economic benefits.
“We, as a country, have to revamp the economic situation and we know that if we get it right with rice and cassava as the two key crops, it will ease the problem of foreign exchange, reduce poverty massively and create job employment across all age groups.” Said nited Nations Development Programme Nigeria Team Leader, Robert Asogwa