The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, has urged farmers to reduce the price of a tonne of paddy rice from N150,000 to N120,000 to make it affordable for millers.
Ogbeh gave the assurance at the First International Cocoa Summit, organised by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, in collaboration with Cocoa Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Abuja.
“I advise rice farmers to reduce the price of a tonne of paddy rice from N150,000 to N120,000 to make it affordable for millers which will eventually crash the price of processed rice and discourage smuggling.
“By the end of this year, we can tell you that we are self-sufficient in rice,” Ogbeh, who expressed regrets on the increasing number of malnourished children across the country declared.
The Minister further noted that rice production had improved tremendously across the country as a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).
According to him, the programme has supported farmers through inputs distribution and loans to boost rice production across the country.
While pointing out that rice was one major staple food consumed by almost every Nigerian, Ogbeh said the move was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda to diversify the economy through the agricultural sector.