The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has assured Nigerians that the present lockdown imposed in some parts of the country won’t affect rice production across the country.
RIFAN, in a statement signed by the National President, Aminu Goronyo, said they have enough rice paddy produced by their members in Taraba, Kano and Kebbi which is over 200,000 bags.
RIFAN, therefore urged its members to adhere strictly to all public health directives and regulations provided by the competent authorised agencies.
The statement reads: “Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria Assured Nigerians that the lockdown due to COVID-19 will not in any affect rice production and supply in the country.
“We have enough Rice Paddy produced by our farmers, we launched three of our Rice Pyramids in Taraba, Kano and Kebbi states housing close to two hundred thousand bags of rice Paddy, more are still on ground enough to feed our Rice Milling industries.
“We, therefore, appeal to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to buy the excess Rice Paddy from us as part of government food strategy reserves policy. ”
RIFAN called on its members to cooperate with Government Agencies especially National Centre for Disease Control and Ministry of Health in an efforts to curtail the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease in the country.
RIFAN also advised farmers to take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the disease, such precautions include frequent handwashing with soap, limiting physical contact observing proper hygiene when producing and packaging of food items
The RIFAN President in the statement also directed that all members must obey the social distance orders put in place by both federal and state governments and stay indoors as directed.
Goronyo further said the Association would continue to support government towards meeting the country’s target of rice self-sufficiency and food security
“RIFAN pray for quick recovery of Chief of Staff to the President Malam Abba Kyari, Bauchi and Kaduna state governors Bala Muhammed and Nasiru Elrufai and all those tested positive.
“For those of us that remain Negative we should stay safe,” the statement added.