By Edwin Nwanojuo
The annual rice production of Nigeria is put at Eight million tonnes annually according to the statistics of the rice farmers association of Nigeria with twelve million farmers engaged in the production of the commodity.
The statistics indicate that farmers are producing an average of four million tonnes per cropping season with the country having two rice production seasons per annum.
President Rice farmers association of Nigeria, Aminu Goronyo says Nigeria has no option than to put a total ban on rice importation before the end of this year
According to him “we have two cropping seasons of production and each season we produce an average of four million tons that will give you eight million tons per annum”.
He says the association is collaborating with the federal government towards reducing the cost of production which will as well bring down the price of milled rice in the market
“We have enough paddy on ground, the same thing with rice Millers, they have more than enough in stock, which means that we don’t need to import paddy or milled rice”, Goronyo said,
In the meantime Rice Millers has described smuggling as a major challenge confronting rice production and its business in the country.
President of the Association Muhammed Abubakar Maifata says smuggling is capable of crippling rice business in the country, he appealed to Nigerian Customs and other security Agencies to come out with another strategy that will address the menace.
“Smuggling is our major challenge, rice keep on coming through land borders despite the fact that government has banned importation through land borders”, he noted.