The Senate Agriculture Committee said Wednesday in Abuja that around two million metric tonnes of rice are currently being imported or smuggled into the country.
It is exactly as the committee said, in 2021, the production of milled rice in Nigeria was estimated at five million metric tons.
The vice-chairman of the committee, Muhammad Enagi, revealed this during the meeting with the multi-stakeholder group on promoting the rice council advocacy bill.
The interactive meeting was organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – Global Environment Facility (GEF), in collaboration with the Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN), among others.
Mr. Enagi said Nigerian rice has grown from 3.7 million metric tons in 2017 to 5.0 metric tons in 2021.
He said; “Despite this, 6.7 million metric tonnes of rice are consumed in Nigeria each year, resulting in a shortfall of around two million metric tonnes which are either imported or smuggled into the country.”
Mr Enagi said he sponsored a bill to establish the National Rice Development Council of Nigeria to provide advice on rice research, overall rice sector development and the organization of rice stakeholders to improve local production.
The bill, he said, seeks to establish a rallying point and a comprehensive national operational and governance structure for a complete rice value chain.
According to him, “Nigeria should consider establishing a National Rice Development Council and a comprehensive national rice development roadmap that will guide the country towards self-sufficiency and export.”
He added that the establishment of the National Rice Development Council will transform the activities of rice farmers, processors, millers, researchers, traders and other relevant stakeholders along the rice value chain.
“With our natural competitive advantage in rice production, Nigeria should put in place a National Rice Development Council and a comprehensive national roadmap for rice development that will not only guide us towards a diet of rice. self-sufficiency in rice production, but also for export.
“The Nigerian rice industry exists in the abstract because it seems there is no form of coordination without a properly structured rallying point. We have the Nigeria Paddy Rice Traders Association (PRIDAN), the Nigeria Rice Farmers Association (RIMAN), among others.
Previously, WOFAN Executive Director Salamatu Garba expressed concern about the high rate of food imports into the country.
She said that the importation of agricultural products, especially cereals, “is still observed to a higher degree than imagined, leading to worsening food inflation and subsequently fueling hunger, poverty and insecurity “.
“The worsening of food insecurity in Nigeria as a result of the challenges of climate change, insecurity, poor financing of the agricultural sector in particular mechanization and the poor situation of the country’s research institutes threaten the economic stability of our country. nation, ”she said.
She noted that advocacy by the Nigerian Rice Council would enable rice farmers to grow more rice in a sustainable manner and increase paddy production to 30 million metric tons in five years.
In her remarks, Rhoda Dia, responsible for the UNDP-GEF-IAP Resilient Food Security Project, said that the Nigerian rice revolution will improve extension services and research delivery to ensure quality control of rice production.
She said the project is taking place in seven northern states of Nigeria, 14 local governments and 70 communities to ensure the long-term sustainability of the food security system to build the resilience of communities to climate change in order to contribute to the sustainability of the food security system. food insecurity.
Ms. Dia added that the advocacy will reduce foreign exchange for rice imports. (NOPE)
Support PREMIUM TIMES integrity and credibility journalism
Good journalism is expensive. Yet only good journalism can guarantee the possibility of a good society, responsible democracy and transparent government.
For free and ongoing access to the best investigative journalism in the country, we ask that you consider modestly supporting this noble enterprise.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to maintain relevant journalism and ensure that it remains free and accessible to everyone.
Make a donation
TEXT OF THE ANNOUNCEMENT : To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401 …