Establish structures for rice exportation ― Agric economist urges FG

An agricultural economist, Mr Bright Okwu, has advised the Federal Government to put in place necessary structures to ensure that its desire to export Nigerian rice is achievable.

Okwu, the National Coordinator of Africa Farming Projects, a non-governmental organisation, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Monday.

“For the idea of exporting rice to become attainable, the government needs to support more local fabrication of milling machines in the country.

“ Also, making available a bird scaring technology that will curb eating of the rice in farms will be necessary,’’ he told NAN.

He said that the Federal Government would need to invest in key infrastructure that would improve rice production.

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He also suggested that the government should give incentives that would encourage the private sector to drive the various value chains.

“The government must give incentives for the private sector to bring modern farming machines that would change the production narratives so that the country will be a rice exporter,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the Federal Government has said that Nigeria might begin rice exportation by 2022.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, made the disclosure at a media briefing after a working visit to the headquarters of Nestle Nig. Plc in Lagos on Jan. 27.

He noted that Nigeria’s closure of its land borders had resulted in increased outputs by many rice milling plants operating below installed capacities before the closure.

“If we maintain the momentum in the next two years, we may export rice to other countries,” Nanono had said.

(NAN)

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