Ambode, Bagudu launch Lake Rice
• To be sold for N12, 000 in 12 locations from today
• Japanese agency begins seed multiplication for Nigerian farmers
Lagos and Kebbi States governors Akinwunmi Ambode and Atiku Bagudu, were the first to taste cooked Lake Rice, after it was launched for sale at the State House, Ikeja, yesterday.
There had been doubt if the Lake Rice, a product of Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) signed between the two states in March 2016, was real, as the sale did not start on the promised date.
Ambode, who described the launch as historic said: “We signed the MoU in March 2016 with an understanding that we being proudly Nigeria, want to come out with what is made in Nigeria. We took the advice of President Muhammadu Buhari that we need to grow our food and we decided that we will prove a point and that is what today is all about.”
He promised the state would expand its rice mill as the largest consumption rice market in the country.
To ensure Lagos residents enjoy a bumper Christmas and new year celebration, he reduced the price to N12, 000 from the N13, 000 earlier announced for 50kg, while 25kg bag goes for N6, 000 and 10kg bag for N2, 500.
According to the governor, it is one bag per person, and to buy, one obtains a ticket from any of the 12 locations in Lagos, in order to pay in the bank before returning to the same location for collection. This, he said would ensure that the rice goes round.
Governor Bagudu said that 16 months ago during a National Executive Council meeting in Abuja, he entered into discussion with Ambode on a partnership for the production of rice, in view of the country’s situation.
“We agreed that we should showcase our belief in Nigeria and our people, especially our commitment to the agenda of making Nigeria a big market in Africa,” he said.
The Kebbi State governor maintained that the rice could stand any integrity test, as it was of high quality. “Our rice is of quality. I am proud of this joint venture. We can do more, we are glad that we are launching the Lake Rice today,” he said.
Meanwhile, to boost food production, Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, has embarked on the training of Nigerian farmers on how to multiply high-yield rice seeds in the country.
According to the Coordinator, Dr. Umaru Ismaila, who spoke to The Guardian, Japan is helping Nigeria and the ECOWAS since they have resources and potential to produce enough rice.
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