The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has stated that about 15 million metric tonnes of rice were produced in this year.
This is way above the annual requirement for the country’s consumptions which is seven million metric tonnes.
This was made known by RIFAN Deputy National Vice President, Segun Atho, at the Nigeria Rice ceremony held at the Foursquare Gospel Church, Yaba, Lagos.
Rice Farmers Celebrate 2017 Rice Production
According to him, “We produce 15 million metric tons of rice and Nigerians can only consume six to seven million metric tonnes; we produce excess and we can export the remaining ones to some African countries.”
“We have about 85 million hectares of land out of it about six to seven million hectares can be used to cultivate rice that can feed Nigerians.”
“As farmers, we make Nigeria rice available to Nigerians, we urge Nigerians to look inwards and start patronising made in Nigeria rice,” said the RIFAN official.
Adebola Osibon, The children Church Head also spoke to parents advising them to woo their children into farming.
In his words, “I feel that it will impact on the children positively, the children did not know that being a rice farmer is important and good.”
According to Mr Sagar Joe, Policy Adviser, Competitive African Rice Initiative/John Kufour Foundation, “the ceremony was aimed at sensitising Nigerians on the quality and availability of Nigerian rice through children.”
“The program entails identifying one or two schools that organise the end of year pupils party, find out the number of bags of rice needed to feed the pupils and supply them free of charge.”
“It is also aimed to significantly improve the livelihoods of big rice farmers in selected African countries by increasing the Competitiveness of domestic rice supply to meet increasing regional demands,” he said.
The event was orgànised by RIFAN and Competitive African Rice in conjunction with Foursquare Gospel Church.
Over 700 children from the church and neighbouring Makoko, Ijora-Badia, Ojuelegba and Bariga communities attended the ceremony.