Making reference to the border closure by the Federal Government of Nigeria last year, Mr Sabo Nanono, who was represented by the Director of Information, Mr Theodore Ogaziechi, said that the country due to current expansion in the production of rice may soon start exporting to other countries.
He noted that the federal government’s order on the closure of the country’s border has resulted in increase output of local rice by farmers and millers across the country.
9jatoday understands that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sabo Nanono, made the statement on Tuesday, in Abuja, following a visit to Nestle Nigeria PLC in Lagos State.
The minister was quoted saying that the border closure by the federal government had resulted in an increased output of local rice by farmers and millers across the country.
He said, “before the closure of our land borders, most of the rice milling plants were operating partially, but now they not only operate in full capacity but are also expanding.”
“If we can maintain the momentum, in the next two years, we might commence export of rice to other countries.”
He further revealed that most Nigerian rice producers have stocked rice in various silos that might serve the country in the next six months, such that before the stock is finished, dry season rice will be harvested.
Sabo noted the all-year-round rice farming system has made the country a force to reckon with in rice production.
“We now cultivate rice in a nine-month cycle. As we move on the cycle will widen, so we do not have a problem with rice growing and processing,” He said.
“We now have 11 mega rice milling plants with the capacity to produce from 180 tonnes to 350 tonnes of rice per day.
“In a few months, another mill with a capacity to produce 400 tonnes of rice per day will be opened, with another upcoming 34 smaller mills. We will also have clusters in different areas.”
He also stated that the federal government is happy with Nestle for its role in assisting local farmers and creating jobs for Nigerians.
In return, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nestle Nigeria PLC, Mr Mauricio Alarcon, had also thanked the minister for the visit and called for a stronger working relationship with the ministry.