Sabo Nanono, the minister of agriculture and rural development, says it is unpatriotic to sell a 50kg bag of rice above N15,000.
According to a statement by Theodore Ogaziechi, director of information at the ministry, the minister made the remark during a working visit to rice farms and mills of Stallion Group Limited, Popular Farms and Mill Limited – producers of Stallion rice in Kano.
“I see no reason why a 50kg bag of rice should be sold for N17,000,” NAN quoted him to have said.
“The maximum processing expense is N2,000, making a total of N10,500; it is unpatriotic to sell a bag more than N14,000 to N15000.”
Following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to restrict forex for rice importation, the retail price of a 50kg bag of rice rose to between N18,000 and N25,000.
Nanono was also quoted to have said exportation of Nigerian rice can begin within two years if the current momentum is maintained.
He announced that the ministry would convene a forum within the next four years for all stakeholders in the rice sub-sector to dialogue on how to improve on seedlings, farm inputs among others.
In his remarks, Amit Kumar Rai, the managing director of Popular Farms and Mill Limited, said Stallion Group has invested over $70 million in Nigeria’s agricultural sector, especially rice and sesame production.
According to Rai, the company operates the biggest rice mill in Kano with an annual installed capacity of 430,000 metric tonnes, adding that it has a consolidated capacity of 1.7 million metric tonnes.
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