Nigeria to get enough rice as import from Thailand drops
The Federal government yesterday reassured Nigerians that the country was getting closer to self-sufficiency in rice production.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has reduced rice importation and moved Nigeria closer to achieving self-sufficiency in rice, a major staple food in the country within two years.
Quoting figures from the Thailand Rice Exporters Association (TREA), he said rice importation from Thailand, which supplies the bulk of parboiled rice being imported into the country dropped from 644,131 Metric Tons to about 21,000 tons between September 2015 and September 2017.
“We are happy to tell Nigerians of the giant strides being made by the administration in the agriculture sector, specifically rice production. Nigeria is inching closer to achieving self-sufficiency in rice due to the success recorded by the administration in the local production of rice,” he said.
Mohammed disclosed that as a result of the administration’s success in local production, some investors from Thailand have shown interest in establishing rice milling plants in Nigeria, a development he said, would further boost rice production in the country.
“A few years ago, these Thai investors who have agreed to establish rice mills in Nigeria would not have been possible since Nigeria was not considered a top rice producing country. Today, Nigeria is one of the largest producers of rice,” he added.
He said the increase in rice production across the country did not happen by accident, but that it was largely due to the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme initiated by President Buhari to support farmers through inputs distribution and loans to boost rice production and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI), among others.
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