Rice farmers under the auspices of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, RIFAN, has assured that in June 2017 a 50 kilogramme of rice bag will sell at N10,000. This assurance was given by the National President of RIFAN, Aminu Goronyo, while speaking on the current development in the rice industry, as he disclosed that rice farmers now have direct access to fertiliser.
He said: “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 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.”
However, the rice farmers’ boss lamented inadequate rice seeds for his over 4.2 million members.
“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 30 years we don’t have enough certified seeds.”