The Nigerian government has restated its earlier claim that the administration will soon attain its goal of self-sufficiency in rice production for the country, come 2018.
The Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, said this in a press conference in Abuja while briefing journalists on the administration’s growing achievements to revamp the economy.
According to Mr. Mohammed, Nigeria is inching closer to self-sufficiency in rice production, due to the successes recorded in the local production of rice.
Mr. Muhammed cited a report by a Thai rice export association to support his claim.
“In fact, the Thailand Rice Exporters Association has recently revealed that within a spate of just two years – from September 2015 to September 2017 – Nigeria’s rice importation dropped from 644,131 Metric Tonnes to just about 21,000MT.
“There is more good news to report: As a result of this administration’s success in local production, some investors from Thailand have shown interest in establishing rice milling plants in Nigeria, and this is sure to further boost rice production in Nigeria.
“The increased rice production has, in turn, led to the establishment of rice mills, including the 120,000MT WACOT Mill in Kebbi and the 1,000,000MT Dangote Rice Mill,” Mr. Mohammed said.
Mr. Mohammed added that Nigeria targets the production of seven million metric tons of rice in 2018.
“So what does the increased production of rice portend for the country? It means, as I said earlier, that Nigeria is very close to achieving self-sufficiency in rice. By 2018, the administration targets rice production of 7 million MT. As at 2015, rice demand in Nigeria stood at 6.3 million MT,” he added.
Data obtained by PREMIUM TIMES however indicate that Nigeria imported 2.330 million metric tons of rice in 2015 and 2016.
The data provided by the global Agricultural Market Information System, AMIS further indicate that Nigeria’s rice importation reduced to 2.310 million metric tons within the period of 2016 to 2017.
According to the data, Nigeria’s domestic supply of rice stood at 3.850 million metric tons in 2015 to 2016, while the figure reduced to 3.620 million metric tons within the period of 2016 to 2017.
The data also indicated that Nigeria’s domestic consumption of rice, stood at 5. 530 million metric tons of rice between 2015 and 2017.
The data provided by AMIS also forecast Nigeria’s rice importation, as expected in 2018 adding that it would rise from 2.310 million metric tons in 2017, to 2.830 million metric tons in 2018.