According to the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), the country will begin exporting rice in the near future, providing food security and economic diversification.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the inauguration of the huge rice pyramids in Abuja, Ado Hassan, Secretary of the Kano State branch of RIFAN, said this.
According to NAN, the pyramids, which will be presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, are a collaboration between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and RIFAN as part of the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Program.
Mr. Hassan refuted claims that the rice pyramids on exhibit were not entirely made of rice, explaining that the item was brought in by rice farmers from around the country.
“We have rice from all around the nation here. RIFAN has always been genuine; a programme of this magnitude cannot ever fool 200 million Nigerians”.
“The fact that Nigeria hasn’t imported a grain of rice in the previous four years is proof enough that we’re self-sufficient in the product. Rice farming is a reality, and it will continue to be so,” he remarked. Mr. Hassan said that thanks to the Federal Government’s assistance and the CBN’s involvement, Nigeria has become Africa’s leading rice producer.
“At one point, the CBN was paying N1 billion to cover rice import expenses. The central bank no longer spends a kobo to fund rice importation.
“Today, Nigeria has overtaken South Africa as Africa’s leading rice producer. That is an outstanding feat. We have leaders from some of our neighboring nations here today to witness our rice miracle. They are a definite market for our rice exporters.” He stated.
He went on to say that, while insecurity was a setback, it had not deterred farmers from trying new things.