Some Nigeria Rice Brands

Nigeria Rice can compete favourably in markets, says Minister

* Deplores high price of local brands

* Stakeholders seek self-sufficiency in rice production

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The persistent efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria at diversifying the nation’s economy through non-oil exports since 2015 may have begun to yield fruits after all.

Agency reports Alhaji Sabo Nanono, Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, as saying that the Nigerian Rice brand can compete favourably in the global market as it hits the international market in few years.

Mr. Theodore Ogaziechi, Director Information in the Ministry, in a statement, said this Sunday, March 1, in Abuja, FCT.

Alhaji Nanono, in the statement, made the disclosure during a working visit to rice farms and mills of Stallion Group Limited, Popular Farms and Mill Limited – producers of Stallion Rice, in Kano, Northern Nigeria.

The Minister said that Nigerian Rice would compete favourably in the global market the moment exportation begins.

“If we maintain this momentum in the next two years, we may export rice to other countries,” he said.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would convene a forum within the next four years for all stakeholders in the rice sub-sector to dialogue on how to improve on seedlings and farm inputs among others, he said.

Commending the Stallion Group for its efforts at improving rice production and creating jobs for Nigerians, he urged other investors to key into Agribusiness because of its numerous financial benefits.

However, in view of the average price of Nigeria Rice, Nanono lamented the high cost of rice, saying “I see no reason why a 50kg bag of rice should be sold for N17,000.”

“The maximum processing expense is N2,000, making a total of N10,500; it is unpatriotic to sell a bag more than N14,000 to N15000.”

Mr. Amit Kumar Rai, Managing Director, Popular Farms and Mill Limited, stated that Stallion Group Popular Farms and Mills Limited had invested over 70million Dollars to boost production of agriculture business, especially rice and sesame in Nigeria.

He said that the company operated the biggest rice mill in Kano with an annual installed capacity of 430,000 metric tonnes. It had a consolidated capacity of 1.7 million metric tonnes, according to him.

He said “the group is investing also in additional milling facilities locally, in order to obtain self-sufficiency in rice production.

Rai pointed out that the company organised training and distribution of rice farming tools to out growers across the rice producing states in Nigeria as part of its dedicated services in the rice value chain initiative.

“About 20 percent of these beneficiaries are women who diligently work alongside their male counterparts in the field to support their families.

“The group believes that focus on empowering communities leads to more progressive farmers and greater economic and social opportunities for households.

“It works through Public Private Partnership (PPP), with the Federal Government’s agriculture objectives to train small scale farmers,” he stated.

The minister also visited Premier Seed Nigeria Limited and Value Seeds Limited, Zaria, Kaduna State, where he emphasised the overall goals of the policy principles of the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP), added the statement.

He, therefore, assures the stakeholders in rice production that his Ministry would concentrate on providing an enabling environment for stakeholders at the Federal and state levels to play their distinctive roles improving the nation’s economy.

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