Nigerians have been assured that there would be an abundance of rice to meet their consumption needs this coming festive period.
The Details: This declaration was made by Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, the Chairman of Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RPAN). He dispelled the rumours of impending rice scarcity at the end of the year, according to Vanguard.
Abubakar, who boasted about the capability of the members of RPAN to meet the growing demand, put the combined production capacity of integrated mills at 150,000 truckloads of rice daily. He also said the combined capacity of the association is 1.8 million metric tonnes annually.
Abubakar explained that the figure was different from millions of metric tonnes produced annually by small scale millers and local millers. He reiterated that rice would be abundant for Nigerians during the Yuletide.
“I can assure Nigerians that they will find rice everywhere and throughout this festive period,” he said.
Abubakar noted that Nigeria had come a long way as the country had only 1 mill in operation when it relied heavily on rice importation as against the about 40 Milling machine of world standard that we have across the country today.
He was full of appreciation to the government for the move to curb rice importation in order to support local production. For him and other rice millers, the impact in terms of profit was huge.
Comparing the period of the border closure till date, Abubakar said that his members, who could not compete against imported products, are now doing well with the increased patronage in local rice production.
In a similar vein, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) promised the general public that a 50kg bag of rice would sell for N9,000, last month, after recording a bumper harvest this year. They promised that more rice would flood the market, thereby forcing prices downward.