– Nigerians have been assured of a significant reduction in the price of rice as from June this year
– President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria says a 50 kilogramme of the commodity will be sold at N10, 000
– He however says rice farmers in Nigeria still face the challenge of quality seeds
Aminu Goronyo, national president of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says a 50 kilogramme of the commodity will sell at N10, 000 as from June 2017.
While speaking on the current development in the rice industry, he said rice which is being sold in Nigeria presently at the rate of N20,00 will start selling at half that price in three months’ time.
PLUSMILA.com learnt that rice farmers under the association now have direct access to fertiliser.
“Fertiliser was a very big challenge, but today it has become a history. We have signed MoU where the fertiliser is sold N5, 500 per bag of fertiliser, and is now a government policy. We have more fertiliser in the country and go direct to the hands of the farmers and is everywhere in the country.
“We have already achieved rice sufficiency in the last two years because all the rice we eat is grown here in the country. With the government through the Nigeria Customs Service on the land borders, including the high exchange rate no importer can go to other countries and import rice for profit.
I assure you in the next three months a 50kg bag of rice will come down to N10, 000. “The Anchor Borrowers Scheme was conceived through collective effort by the Central Bank of Nigeria, RIFAN and other relevant key stakeholders, and we are everyday meeting with the CBN reviewing the process,” he said.
However, he says the association is faced with inadequate rice seeds. According to him, the association has over 4.2 million registered members and there are not enough quality seed to go round. He said: “Seed is the most essential component of any commodity that is going to be produced.
We do not have rice seeds in Nigeria. The few companies we have in the country do not have the capacity to supply the quality and certified seeds we need. What we have is grossly inadequate and not up to one percent of the need by Nigerian farmers. “I blame the previous governments because for the 30 years we don’t have enough certified seeds. The government has played vital role in creating this problem for the farmers.
“The research centres are there and they are being paid but they are not doing what they are supposed to do because government rely on them to come up with certified seeds, and we the end users, the farmers, we know that we are not getting then real certified seed.
“Even the current Anchor Borrowers Scheme that is going on we are just managing seeds from few companies that rarely have certified seeds. “Most of the seeds that are being supplied are from the companies that do not have all it takes, and we do not have other options than to use what they are giving to us. The seeds released are not up to five percent of our total requirement,” he stated.