Boost for rice sufficiency as Ogun intensifies production of Ofada rice
Nigeria’s quest for rice sufficient and food security has received a boost as Ogun state has intensify production of Ofada rice in recent years.
The state has the capacity to produce and process about 65, 700 metric tons of Ofada rice annually, with a strong intention to expand production in no distant time to create more direct and indirect jobs in Ogun state.
“We are intensifying our contribution to the attainment of the Federal Government efforts in increasing domestic rice production,” Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State said during the commissioning of MITROS Ofada rice in Abeokuta recently.
“We will vigorously pursue the needed partnerships and collaborations with other state governments, with the Federal Government and most importantly with the private sector in other to actualise this vision.
“The boost in rice production will not only conserve our hard-earned foreign exchange through less of importation, but will further address the balance of trade in favour of our country,” Amosun said.
He said that the country’s overdependence on food import has put pressure on forex and reduced the value of naira, the Nigerian currency, saying his administration in conjunction with the private sector will work together to defeat food insecurity in Nigeria.
According to experts, Nigeria’s local rice production has been gaining a lot of acceptance at home now owing to improve production and better processing.
Also speaking during the commissioning of the MITROS rice, Godwin Emefiele, governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that the apex bank is looking at providing cheap funding of not more than 5 percent for farmers to acquire agriculture equipment, to enhance their productivity.
“We are looking at providing cheap funding of not more than 5 percent for those who are going to be accessing facilities to acquire equipment like harvester, or even those who want to go into fish farming, those who want to go into feed mills,” Emefiele said.
He said that CBN has made its responsibility to continue to support any efforts towards the growth of the country agricultural sector, noting that such efforts will help provide more food for people and go a long way to conserve foreign spending on importation of agric produce in the country.
According to him, the MITROS rice pyramid will create more jobs and grow the Ogun state and Nigeria economy at large.
While commending the Ogun state Governor for adding his quota to the Federal Government’s dream of attaining food sufficiency in the area of Rice production, Emefiele said any country that fails to take agriculture seriously is an unserious country.
On his part, Abubakar Bagudu, Governor of Kebbi State, said that about 600 million metric tons of rice is produced globally with only 10 million MT were begin produced in Nigeria by 12 million rice farmers.
The governor stated that the country has the capacity to produce rice competitively and that efforts are begin put in place to ensure the country continue to increase its rice production to an average of 50 million MT per annum.
He lauded the Ogun State government for intensifying its Ofoda rice production, which according to him would provide better quality rice available to Nigerians unlike the imported ones which are of lower quality.
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