RICE-Nigeria’s undisputed Staple Food (1)

RICE is now one of Nigeria’s staple foods apart from Gari and Yams. Rice is easy to cook and many children love it. Many households can include Rice in their menu three times a day.

Incidentally, because local rice production could not meet the local demand, Rice importation became the order of the day. Apart from legal importation, the quantity of Rice smuggled through our land borders was enormous. Valuable and scarce foreign exchange was used to import rice from Thailand and a few other countries. It became so much that the local production was depressed. Imported rice became cheaper than locally produced varieties.

In order to save and protect the local farmer, the Federal Government banned the importation of rice. Many state governments embarked on Rice production on very large scale. Notable, Lagos and Kebbi States collaborated for the production Lake Rice brand. Many states in the South East and Sout-south

Consequent upon this, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has said that the Federal government’s ban on the importation of rice into the country was having severe effects on rice production in Thailand. Incidentally, Thailand used to be the largest exporter of Rice to Nigeria until the Federal government imposed a moratorium on the importation of Rice. As at 2014, Nigeria was importing 580,000 tonnes of rice from both Thailand and India. The volume had reduced drastically as a result of the change in policy. There are still a few pockets of rice smuggling, but not on a large scale as it used to be.


Author Bio


Mrs. Yemisi Akibu ( nee Awokoya) is the Chief Executive Officer of Belvyna Global, an agricultural consultancy service firm based in Lagos, Nigeria She is a former Team Member of the Agricultural Department of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, one of Nigeria's first generation banks. She holds a B.Sc degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a Masters degree in National Development and Project Planning from the University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. She is passionate about the role agriculture plays in the social, economic, political development of a nation. She holds the view that one of the pillars of stability of a nation food security and this can only be achieved through the holistic development of the agricultural sector. She can be contacted via: yemisiakibu@gmail.com or info@belvynaglobal.com Remember, The Farmer Is King Enjoy my blog

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