Rice is among the most consumed meal in Nigeria, but with its current price, which is between N13,000 to N15,000 per 50kg, not every one can afford a bag of rice. On Saturday, the Federal Government of Nigeria revealed its plan to stabilize the price of rice from April, so that everyone can afford it.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, made this declaration during the 2016 National wheat farmers field day in Alkamawa village in Bunkure Local Government of Kano State.
Mr. Ogbeh said that it is very feasible to stabilize the price of rice in Nigeria due to its high demand and affordability. With recent developments in the agricultural sectors to boast Made-in-Nigeria products, rice would, in a matter of time, be a commonly available and cheap item in the market.
Although, Nigerians would appreciate if this development can be effected this March to enable a fair purchase of rice prior to Easter, Audu Ogbeh says it can only be implemented beginning from April.
The minister also said the boosting of wheat production and other cereals had become necessary to reduce over dependence on importation, adding that over 300,000 hectares of land in wheat producing states would be dedicated to boost wheat production. He said:
“The government will continue to support farmers to encourage agricultural activity, enhance food security and employment generation in the country.”
According Mr. Ogbeh, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will diversify the economy with greater emphasis on agriculture. He urged Nigerians to embrace agriculture to enhance their welfare and enable them become self reliant.
In a remark, the Chairman Senate Committee on Agriculture, Abdullahi Adamu, said the senate would make legislation to remove obstacles that wheat farmers in Nigeria usually face. On his part, the Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi said his state would dedicate 70 per cent of the proposed 300, 000 hectares for wheat production.
In line with boasting rice production, Anambra State government employed about 5,000 rice workers in its farms located across the state in 2015. In like manner, the Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, recently commissioned 13 industrial bulldozers, to enhance the state’s capacity to produce more rice. Other states across the country are also doing their quota to help reduce rice importation which is a good lead in normalizing the price of rice.