Abdullahi Adamu, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, has drummed support for Ebonyi State government over the ban on the sale of foreign rice.
Mr. Adamu disclosed this in an interview at the end of the Nigeria’s Zero Hunger Initiative meeting in Abuja on Monday.
The chairman was reacting to the ban by Governor David Umahi of the sale of foreign rice in markets and other outlets of Ebonyi State.
Mr. Adamu described the campaign against the local production and consumption of rice as a conspiracy between rice importers and some elite in the country.
He also called for prompt arrest of rice smugglers.
“I believe that the campaign against local production of rice is a campaign spearheaded by rice importers.
“I do not believe we cannot produce enough rice for ourselves. We may not at this point in time be having enough for everybody but the campaign on rice is an elitist campaign.
“There is collaboration between importers and elites in the country.
“We have rice. We should eat our rice. There is no where our local rice has harmed anybody and the more we eat our rice, the more we put our farmers on business.
“I support the ban on sale of foreign rice in Ebonyi. We have to start somewhere. What we know is that local production is not enough but we should consume it and that is not an excuse for importing rice.
“We cannot afford the luxury of importation particularly in this period of recession.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Ebonyi government had on November 21 announced the ban on the sale of foreign rice in markets and other outlets in the state.