The Director of Agriculture at the Kano office of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Muhammad Adamu said Nigeria now produces 15million Tonnes of local rice annually.
He made this claim in Kano yesterday while inaugurating the Rice Miller Association of Nigeria, (RIMAN).
According to him, this development implies that the country will now be saving about N300 billion it used to spend annually on importation of the commodity.
Adamu, said in Kano alone, 1.2 million metric tonnes of rice was produced in 2016. Also, he noted that with the significant increase in local productions and the efforts to improve the quality of the local variety as well as make it more attractive to Nigerian, the country expects to begin exporting rice to West African countries by 2018/2019.
He added that about 34 states in Nigeria are producing rice, with many now producing three times in a year.
According to him, investigation carried out by the Federal Government revealed that rice imported to Nigeria are 10-15 years old and are preserved with chemical which can cause cancer to consumer.
Also, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rice Miller’s Association, Peter Dama,While reiterating the objective of the association, emphasized that the association is willing to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service to stop the smuggling of expired rice into the country.
Dama further remarked that the association aimed to collaborate with regulatory agencies and policymakers to ensure standard in local rice milling.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rice Miller’s Association, Peter Dama, said, the association was established to promote local milling of rice that is fresh, healthy and nutritious.
He said the association is willing to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service to stem smuggling of expired rice into Nigeria.
Dama added that the association intended to work closely with regulatory agencies and policymakers to ensure standard in local rice milling.
Premiumtimes also reported that Ado Hassan, who is the custom officer in charge of rice enforcement cautioned that officers caught conniving with rice smugglers would be duly prosecuted.
He said in less than one year, the zonal command of the agency confiscated 800,000 bags of rice in Kano and Jigawa States.
He further explained that about 9,000 bags of the rice are still in the stores of the agency, adding that most of the rice were being given to internally displaced persons after been certified fit for consumption by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).