The Federal Ministry of Agriculture has warned that consumption of rice grown on a particular land for several years could be harmful to health.
It said research conducted in Thailand and India showed that continuous growing of rice on the same parcel of land year after year made the rice to contain high volume of arsenic which caused cancer.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe, who confirmed this in Abuja, said, “It is risky, the more you cultivate rice on the same land for years, the more arsenic gets to the rice. It is not healthy for human beings.”
He stated further that rice was expensive because the country depended on imports for too long, spending $5 million daily importing rice.
The minister stated that the state governments had many responsibilities to the citizens in agriculture than the Federal Government but lamented that, “now there are less than ten states seriously focusing on agriculture.”
He said: “When I met with the rice farmers few days ago, they promised that by the middle of next year, we shall be close to self sufficiency. “