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Nutrition Security: CBN targets N20,000 per bag in rice revolution ─Official

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN

*The Central Bank of Nigeria says it plans the landing price of fresh and more nutritious rice, including the distribution cost, distribution margins, among others, should be N20,000 average per bag for consumers across the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the Federal Government’s rice revolution and the Bank’s move to reduce the retail price of the food item, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed it  is planning to cut the price of rice from current N38,000 to N20,000 per 50kg bag.

ConsumerConnect had reported President Muhammadu Buhari had unveiled the huge rice pyramids Tuesday, January 18, 2022, in Abuja, FCT, as part of the rice revolution agenda of the current administration in the country.

Bags of rice

President Buhari had launched a million bags of 75-kilogrammes (kg) rice paddies stacked in 13 massive pyramids to activate the rice revolution in he country.

Mr. Yusuf Yila, Director of Development Finance at the CBN, spoke about the apex bank’s plan to reduce the price of the staple food item in Abuja, reports The Nation.

Yila stated: “Our target landing price, including the distribution cost, distribution margins, among others, should be N20,000 average across the country.”

The CBN Director of Development Finance also noted that the target price could even be cheaper for those living close to rice millers in Nigeria.

“Prices are sub-N20,000, where the mills are close by. If you add distribution costs, you should get an average of N20,000 across the country,” said he.

In regard to the mega rice pyramids in Abuja, Yila expressed delight that “this is just a fraction of the harvest, and it was brought here (Abuja) for symbolic purposes. We have about N14billion worth of paddy on display here.”

On CBN’s plan for the one million bags of rice paddy showcased last Tuesday in Abuja, the Director of Development Finance said: “For now, we are sending the paddy straight to millers to be milled to rice for consumption by our citizens.”

According to him, other rice paddies were “already being milled across the country. We are only sending the maize to our strategic reserves, for now, to help stabilise prices due to increased demand by poultry, feed millers and other users.”

He expressed optimism that Nigerian consumers would derive value from the rice revolution as the country would “continue to spend less of our hard-earned foreign exchange on importation of rice”.

Yila further stated as Nigeria continues to “improve productivity per hectare with high yield seeds, mechanisation and good agronomic practices, we should start exporting, thus earning more foreign exchange

“Our mills are getting better, and we can compete with imports today. Our rice is fresh, more nutritious and not rice that has stayed over time in the silo in Asia.”

Recall Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN, at the unveiling of rice pyramids in Abuja, also commended the Smallholder Farmers (SHFs), whom he stated took several risks to cultivate rice amid the damaging pandemic as well as rampant insecurity around the country in 2021.

The CBN Govenor said: “Amidst COVID-19 disruptions in production and supply chains, which led to global increase in the price of most commodities, the resilience of our farmers and the interventions of the CBN continued to ensure the provision of the needed food stock for the populace.”

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