Nigeria Set to Export Rice in Two Years – Agric Minister

Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, has stated that Nigeria would start to export Nigeria’s brand of Rice, in the next two years.

The Minister made this disclosure during a press conference after a working visit to Nestle Nigeria Public Limited Company (PLC) Office, in Lagos, recently.

He noted that the Country’s land border closure had resulted in increased outputs by many Rice Milling Plants, which were operating below capacity before the closure. He therefore maintained that, if the momentum was sustained, Nigeria may be able to export Rice to other Countries in the next two years.

Alhaji Nanono informed that Rice was cultivated within a 9 months cycle and he believed that as the production of Rice increased, the cycle would widen, therefore worry less about Rice processing as Rice Producers had stocked Rice for the next six months.

He also revealed that there had been an expansion of Local Rice value chain as well as the creation of more jobs due to increase in Rice production, saying that presently, there are about 11 Rice Milling Plants with the capacity to produce from 180 tonnes to 350 tonnes of Rice per day.

According to him, in a few months, another Mill with a capacity to produce 400 tonnes of Rice per day would be opened, with another upcoming 34 smaller Mills, then clusters would be established in different areas.

He added that the local rice farmers were fully engaged and used between 200 farm lands and 300 farm lands directly. He also lauded Nestle Nigeria PLC for its role in assisting local farmers and creating jobs for Nigerians.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nestle Nigeria PLC, Mr. Mauricio Alarcon, thanked the Minister and his delegation for the visit and called for stronger and robust working relationship with the Ministry. He also said that there were more opportunities for collaboration in Nigeria.

He said, “We source 80% of our products locally, we source 100% of Maize for Golden Morn locally; Soya,Millet, Sugar, Salt and Cocoa are locally- sourced”.

Ezeaja Ikemefuna
For: Director, Information (FMARD)