RECENTLY, I got to know through one of the private radio stations in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, that Nigerians would begin to enjoy locally-produced rice at cheaper rates by November. This was stated by Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture, while he was briefing members of the House of Representatives’ Committee on how government was going about tackling the high cost of food, particularly rice.
Although Nigerians are still expecting the promise of the minister, I am sure this news has gladdened the hearts of citizens of this country.
Through Minister Ogbeh’s proposal, the country is embarking on massive local production of rice, to the extent that we would also begin to export the produce. The truth is that relying on importation of rice is the reason the price is going over the roof for Nigerians.
However, in a bid to meet local demand, do we really have the equipment to produce on a large scale, and will our rice compete favourably with imported rice in terms of quality?
These are issues the Federal Government can look into if we truly want to develop our agriculture sector, thereby making us rely less on imports, which is draining our hard-earned forex.
53, Agbeni Quarters,