Farmers To Crash Rice Prices To Curb Smuggling

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RICE

Farmers To Crash Rice Prices To Curb Smuggling

Rice farmers in Nigeria have concluded plans to bring down the cost of the commodity by at least N3,000 in a bid to further curb the negative effect which the smuggling of foreign rice into Nigeria has been having on the production of local rice.

Punch Newspaper had reported on June 5, 2019, that the activities of some corrupt customs officers, other security agents and smugglers were gradually killing the Federal Government’s target to achieve self-sufficiency in local rice production by 2020.

The immediate past Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had at a press conference in Lagos in April 2018, said the country would achieve self-sufficiency in rice production in 2020, as he noted that 60 per cent of rice consumed across the country was produced locally.

But investigations at some border communities in the country revealed how some customs officers, other security officials and smugglers were conniving to thwart the Federal Government’s aim at increasing local production of rice.

To help address this concern, local rice producers stated that plans were being perfected and had reached advanced stage to crash the price of the commodity produced locally in order to render the business of smuggling unprofitable.

The National President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Aminu Goronyo, told our correspondent in Abuja on Friday that rice farmers were collaborating with millers and other operators in the value chain to cut down the price of the commodity.

His Words:

“There is that plan jointly between the rice producers and the processors. We are working collaboratively to see that there is enough rice, both paddy and milled rice in Nigeria. And because the farmers have produced a lot, the cost of paddy has reduced from about N11,000 that we used to sell to between N7,500 and N8,000.

“So you can see that obviously the cost of milled rice is coming down. And aside from that, you will agree that the cost of milled rice has been reducing over the years,in 2014/2015, the cost of a 50kg bag of milled rice was about N18,000. But now it is sold at between N13,000 and N13,500. So to further curb smuggling, local rice price will come down further, it is a gradual process.”

“The cost reduction in paddy production would definitely warrant a decrease in the price of milled rice, adding that the aim of farmers and other producers of the commodity was to see that a 50kg bag of milled rice is sold at N10,000.

“That is what we are aiming at because it will lead to a situation where the final consumer will find it affordable and, of course, when rice is affordable, people will be able to buy more and more of the product.

“This will make rice sellers to make more money and by extension, the producers as well will make money. The more people buy the product, the more dealers make profit. The more dealers make profit, the more farmers make profit as well. That is the target and we hope to achieve it very soon.”



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