A 50kg bag of rice is now selling for N8000 in Ebonyi State, eastern Nigeria. This contrasts with the over N20,000 price tag for imported rice.
While speaking at a sensitization workshop for the CBN Anchor programme for farmers in Bayelsa State on Tuesday, the Acting Director, Corporate Communication, Central Bank of Nigeria, Isaac Okoroafor, said that a 50kg bag of Nigerian rice is now selling in Ebonyi for N8,000.
Speaking at a sensitization workshop for the CBN Anchor programme for farmers, he said, “We should eat Nigerian rice provided for by the CBN Anchor Programme; 50Kg of local rice is now N8,000 in Ebonyi. Already, the Abia Government has ordered rice from Ebonyi for Christmas,”
According to Vanguard, the Anchor Borrowers Programme for the promotion of Agriculture has set the country to begin exportation of rice by 2017.
Okoroafor said farmers in Kebbi, Jigawa, Ebonyi, Sokoto and Cross River states, among others, have already keyed into the programme, resulting in massive rice cultivation, adding that the country would achieve self-sustenance in rice production if the momentum was sustained, adding that the country should commence exportation of locally produced rice by 2017.
He said further that Kebbi State had already harvested one million tons of rice, adding that Ebonyi’s harvest had outstripped the earmarked production for the year.
“The development is encouraging and by the end of 2017, we will not only meet our national demand which is between six and seven million tons but have surplus to export.
“We must rid ourselves of eating foreign rice that has been stored for over nine years in Thailand, Vietnam and India. Nigerian rice is fresh and healthier.
“What we have done with this programme so far is to create jobs through farming, especially for the unemployed youths. Nigerian youths must wake up, dust themselves up and join this worthy campaign.
“Remember that the status of our farmers is now better due to the support they are receiving as a result of government’s policy. Our currency is weak because we engaged in needless importation of all kinds of food stuffs, including tooth picks; the government is determined to stop this.”