Rice farmers have urged state governments to follow the footstep of Ebonyi and ban the sale of foreign rice as a means of boosting local production.
Mr Aminu Goronyo, the National President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), made the call in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
Goronyo was reacting to the current ban by the Ebonyi State government on the sale of foreign rice in the state.
He said the ban would encourage local production of rice and impact positively on the economy of the country.
“We are going to Ebonyi State to pay a solidarity visit to the governor for that kind effort that he made. It is a commendable effort and we urge all the state governors in this country to follow suit.
“I think, it is part of efforts to make Nigerians to eat Nigeria’s homegrown rice. We have available rice that we produce locally,” the national president said.
Goronyo also commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) anchor borrowers’ scheme, saying it had contributed to bumper harvest in rice production.
According to him, the scheme has afford the farmers to have enough fund to carry out their activities, adding that the “farmer is now a king.”
“A farmer does not need to go to the banks to ask for loan rather, the banks that come to his farm to ask for his patronage.
“The miller does not need to take his product to the markets, the buyers are in his farm to buy,” he said.
The national president appealed to the Federal Government to always support and encourage the CBN to continue with the scheme.