Nigeria rice export to begin in 2020, says Minister

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The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono has assured of Federal Government’s plan to begin exportation of locally produced rice in 2022.

Speaking during a press conference after a working visit of the Nestle Nigeria Public Limited Company (PLC) Office in Lagos, Nanono noted that Nigeria’s current land border closure had resulted in increased outputs by many rice milling plants that were operating below capacities before the closure.

Nanono stated that despite the annual three months- November to January when rice is not planted, the nine-month cycle is enough for Nigeria to process sufficient rice for local consumption and exportation.

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

“I was worried in terms of the production of rice, but what I have found out is that most rice producers have stocked rice for the next six months. This means that before the stock is finished, dry season rice will be harvested, and before that finishes, rainy season will come back.”

“As at today, we have 11 rice milling plants with the capacity to produce from 180 tonnes to 350 tonnes of rice per day. In a few months, another mill with a capacity to produce 400 tonnes of rice per day is going to be opened, with another upcoming 34 smaller mills; then, we have clusters in different areas.” Nanono further said.

He added that the local rice farmers were fully engaged and used between 200 farmlands and 300 farmlands directly.