Nigeria’s Quest to Rice Production Sufficiency

Nigeria's quest to rice production sufficiency

In a recent statement by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Nigeria is expecting to be self-sufficient in rice production by November and prices are also expected to fall.

The Industry report also shows the fluctuation of the local commodity production to be between 2,400 and 3,600 in the past five years. The import rates have also increased to 5,850 from 4,800 during the same period of time.

However, the country is also experiencing a rise in consumption rate of the same commodity. The consumption rate has risen to 7 million Metric Tons according to government statistics with only 2.7 million metric tons produced by Nigerian farmers.

In 2016, Nigeria projected to reach 2.7 million metric tons in 2017 if government policy of restricting importation was strictly adhered to.

However, according to the Nigeria rice production statistics, the imports have started to make up 50% of the local consumption rates.

This recent statistics is contrary to what the Minister Chief Audu Ogbeh said earlier in the year when he featured at a forum in Abuja.

He said that there were strong indications that Nigeria would become self-sufficient in rice production by 2018 because many farmers had rediscovered their potential in rice farming.

“Nigerians have discovered that Nigerian rice is better than rice from Thailand and Vietnam, which are the largest producers of rice in the world. We are in a rivalry with the two countries for now and we will soon overtake them in rice production and take over the market from them.

“People in Thailand do not eat parboiled rice but white rice. So, all the parboiled rice they produce is exported to Nigeria. Nigeria is the biggest consumer of imported rice in the world,” the minister said.

The minister, however, said that rice production in the country had improved appreciably, particularly in states like Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.

Adding to this projections, on Tuesday 25th July, the Acting President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, said Nigeria’s rice importation has dropped by over 80 percent and that the country would be self-sufficient by next year.

The Acting President stated this while declaring open the 16th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC), Africa Region in Abuja.

This forward projection is indeed a welcome development for Nigerian citizens. As the government is doing all within its power to ensure food stability in the nation.