NIGERIA CAN PRODUCE ENOUGH RICE FOR ENTIRE WEST AFRICAN SUB-REGION

Abraham Odoom, the Policy Adviser to the Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI), says Nigeria has the capacity to produce enough rice for consumption in the entire West African sub-region.

Odoom made the remark at the formal inauguration of the Nigerian Rice Policy Advocacy Platform in Kano in northern Nigeria Thursday. Based on empirical evidence on the ground, two states in Nigeria could produce the required rice to feed the West African sub-region, he said.

CARI is an initiative of Grow Africa, an African-owned, country-led and market based partnership tool for making agriculture the engine for economic growth.

Odoom said: “The importation of rice has been taking a heavy toll on the nations’ foreign exchange earnings. Nigeria is blessed with abundant arable land and water for massive production of rice.”

With the appalling slump in oil prices, it would be absolutely necessary for Nigeria to promote the importation of rice. “The issue of unemployment can be effectively tackled if the much needed leverage is secured by indigenous farmers willing to prove their worth on rice production,” Odoom said.

He said CARI was ready to conduct its activity on rice production and rice value chain, based on research as a way of creating adequate awareness among farmers. With the required indices taken into cognizance, the future of rice production in Kano State was bright, he said.

Source: NAN