PWC sees Nigeria double rice production to 7.2m tonnes in five years
An estimated increase in mechanisation rate in Nigeria from 0.3hp/ha to 0.8hp/ha in the next 5 years, can double rice production to 7.2 million tonnes. To achieve this, Nigeria will need to at least triple its current stock of machinery over the same period, says a PWC report.
Rice is one of the most consumed staples in Nigeria, with a consumption per capita of 32kg. In the past decade, consumption has increased 4.7 percent, almost four times the global consumption growth, and reached 6.4 million tonnes in 2017 – accounting for 20 percent of Africa’s consumption.
In addition to raising production, adequately increasing mechanisation has the capacity to raise yields, increase labour productivity, reduce post-harvest losses, increase income generated by farmers and deepen import substitution.
Nigeria’s mechanisation gap provides numerous opportunities for investment across the agricultural value chain. To attract the required investment, the government needs to create an enabling environment that ensures mechanisation is profitable. In terms of priorities, the government should concentrate on: addressing challenges around land tenure and ownership, providing rural infrastructure and extension services, and ensuring incentives are transparent and accessible to all investors.
As at 2011, rice accounted for 10 percent of household food spending, and 6.6 percent of total household spending. And given the importance of rice as a staple food in Nigeria, boosting its production has been accorded high priority by the government in the past 7 years. Significant progress has been recorded; rice production in Nigeria reached a peak of 3.7 million tonnes in 2017.
According to the report, despite this improvement, comparatively, Nigeria’s rice statistics suggest there is an enormous potential to raise productivity and increase production. Yields have remained at 2 tonne per hectare, which is about half of the average achieved in Asia. In addition, as population increases, along with rural to urban migration, ensuring food security in key staples becomes critical. However, food security cannot be achieved by a system that depends almost entirely on human muscle power and other manual methods.
Nigeria’s mechanisation has remained low at 0.3 hp/ha, relative to 2.6hp/ha in India and 8 hp/ha in China. The number of agricultural tractors is estimated around 22,000, relative to 1 million and 2.5 million in China and India respectively. Low income, limited access to affordable financing and the lack of technical skills have limited the adoption of mechanisation across the rice value chain.
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