The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has given an assurance that the price of local rice will drop from N18,000 to between N6,500 and N7,000 per 50 kg bag by April 2018.
RIFAN National President, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo who stated this in Abuja today said that this would be achieved under a one-year joint programme of RIFAN and the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to be inaugurated in Abuja on January 13, next year.
The RIFAN President noted that 12 million rice farmers across the country would benefit from the programme, with 300,000 rice farmers from 20 states enlisted at the start of the programme in January.
He said loans disbursement and repayment under the scheme would be faster than what obtained before, adding that the new scheme would double results achieved under the first edition of the ABP.
Lamenting that in 2015 Nigerians spent at least N1 billion daily on rice consumption, he, however, said that the figure had reduced due to increased local rice production.
He asserted that Nigeria’s annual rice consumption now stands at over 8 million tonnes, up from 7.9 million tonnes while annual rice production had increased from 5.8 million tonnes to 6.9 million tonnes.
Goronyo revealed that with the initiatives in place, local rice prices would witness a further crash. He listed the initiatives as collaborations with Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) and other African countries to boost rice production and exports in Africa, the collaboration between RIFAN and rice millers on the pricing of the commodity as well as the bumper harvests in rice farms across the country.
He said that RIFAN had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to tackle rice smuggling through the land borders.
He added that it was becoming difficult to import rice into the country and make a profit due to some measures in place as well as the current economic situation in the country.
“The landing cost of a 50kg.-bag of imported rice is now N19, 500; then, how much should the 50 kg.-bag of rice be sold? The smuggled rice that comes into Nigeria is just five percent of what we consume, and the rice comes in through the informal sector,’’ he said.
Launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2015, the ABP is designed to create linkages between companies involved in rice processing.
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