The Federal Government of Nigeria says Thailand is making moves to establish rice mills in Nigeria.
Speaking during a tour of some rice farms in Kebbi state, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says Nigeria has reduced its importation of rice, particularly from Thailand, by over 90 percent, sparking a decision by Thailand to establish rice mills in Nigeria
“As we speak today, Thailand rice growers are making passionate appeal to the Federal Government. What they are doing now is that they want to set up rice mills in Nigeria, which means we have won. Yes, Thailand wants to set up several rice mills in Nigeria because we have stopped importing from them.”
According to the Minister, Nigeria has cut down on the importation of rice from Thailand from 644,000 metric tonnes two years ago to a little over 20,000MT today, attributing the success to the government’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme
“The difference between then and now is the Anchor Borrowers’ programme because with the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, the average farmer today is assisted in terms of input, agronomic practices and seedling.
So this system has now taken the burden off the farmer and given him what he normally would have gone out to buy or produce. But the important thing is that from 2.5 metric tonnes to 10 to 11 tonnes within the same space, I think it’s a new revolution. The rice in Nigeria is safer, more nutritious and healthier than the one being imported. The one being imported has been stored for several years, perhaps in very bad condition and it is not safe to consume” he says
Nigeria’s rice produce, aided by improved production and milling capacity, is gaining acceptance at home. Although the Federal Government claims that there are about 21 rice mills in the country, only about 9-10 mills are active and in regular production.
Rice millers have also found it quite challenging to efficiently procure large quantity of quality paddy. Rice mills operate below capacity as a result.