Agric Minister Condemns High Cost Of Local Rice In The Market - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Agric Minister Condemns High Cost Of Local Rice In The Market

ABUJA – The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, has condemned the high cost of local rice in the market, saying there is no reason for a bag of 50kg rice to be sold for N17,000.
Nanono, who stated this at the weekend during his working visit to rice farms and mills of Stallion Group Limited, producers of Stallion Rice in Kano, said Nigerian rice can compete favourably with their counterparts in the global market.
According to him, “ I see no reason why a 50kg bag of rice should be sold for N17,000. The same paddy rice is sold for N8,500 and maximum processing expense is N2,000.
"This brings a total of N10,500. It is unpatriotic to sell a bag of rice more than N14,000.”
He, however, lauded the efforts of the Nigerian rice farmers, adding that their efforts would assist the Federal Government to actualise its agenda on food security, job creation and economic growth.
He said the closure of the nation’s land border has resulted in an accelerated and increased output by rice milling plants, adding that the policy would generate employment opportunities for the citizenry.
Nanono reiterated that with the increased production of rice, Nigeria is bound to compete favourably with other countries in the global market, adding that export of Nigerian rice would begin in few years’ time.
“If we maintain this momentum in the next two years, we may export rice to other countries,” he said.
He revealed that his ministry would soon convene a forum for stakeholders in the rice sector to brainstorm on how to improve rice seedlings and farm input.
He added that the primary focus of his ministry was the mechanisation of the agricultural sector, strengthening of research institutes and extension services as well as livestock/dairy development.
The minister further commended the management of Stallion Group for its efforts towards improving rice production and employment creation in the country.
Mr. Amit Kumar Rai, Managing Director, Popular Farms and Mills Limited, earlier in his remarks, said the company had invested over $70million to boost production of agric business, especially rice and sesame in Nigeria.
He said his company operates the biggest rice mill in Kano with an annual installed capacity of 430,000 metric tonnes.
He noted that the company was investing in additional facilities to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production in the country.

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