The Federal Government of Nigeria has disclosed plans to stop importation of rice by 2018.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh informed that the government aims at producing seven million tonnes of rice to meet the country’s demand.
“I think we have attained the level of being one of the largest producers of rice, even though many people are still in doubt about that. So, for those who say it is not true, I think they need to take another look,” he expressed.
He said, the country has gotten to the stage where it would no longer depend on other nations for rice production having observed rice plantations in other countries.
“I have been in Vietnam, the same kind of rice plantation you see there is what you see in Nigeria”, he said.
He however noted that there was need to improve the milling capacity to enhance production.
“The only thing we need to add is the milling capacity, which we are increasing,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, a post harvest specialist, Wasiu Awoyale has stated that to achieve self sufficiency in rice production, factors such as proper processing, value addition and market linkage must be addressed.