Policy Adviser, John Kufuor Foundation (JKF), Hon. Abraham Dwuma, says rice importation into Nigeria would end by 2020 due to the country’s potentials in rice production.
Dwuma who made this known to journalists in Ilorin said that Africa Rice Advocacy Platform (ARAP) under the JKF which is focused to achieve zero importation of rice on the continent, had created a rice value chain to achieve this.
He said, “Two years from now, Nigeria should have no business importing rice because I have travelled the length and breadth of the country and I know the potentials.
“Kebbi State alone can produce all the rice Nigeria needs; talk more of Sokoto and even Kwara.
“For, example, in Akwa Ibom, they have one of the best lands for rice production.
“When we came to Nigeria, farmers were doing 1.5 tonnes per hectare, now they are doing six tonnes per hectare two times in a year.
“We believe that with this platform, we will get there”.
He said the foundation was borne out of the desire of former Ghanaian President, John Kufuor, to ensure that African farmers earn a living from rice production.
Also speaking, Secretary General of ARAP, Alhaji Abdulrauf Lawal, said the platform had made rice production easy in order to halt importation.
“It is a pity that we spend over a billion naira per day to import rice, that is N365 billion per year which can be used to venture into other things like youth employment and improvement of social amenities.
“We are using this much to import when we can plant rice in Nigeria; we have various types of rice; swamp rice and irrigated rice that will start growing with good water and climate.
“With the value chain that we are creating now from production, processing to marketing and consumption, it will get better,” Lawal said.