The head of Audi Ogbe, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development recently in Lagos, made a solemn statement, but with a firm belief that by 2020 Nigeria will not only stop importing rice, but will also become a net exporter. CHIKA IZUORA in this report, looks at the indices that give impetus to this position.
It was in a lecture organized by the Catholic Brothers United, a religious group in the Catholic Church of St. Agnes, Maryland in Lagos. State Secretary Audu Ogbe, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was a guest speaker on the topic "Technology and the Agricultural Revolution: an Instrument for Economic Growth". For the duration of the lecture, which lasted more than three hours, he spoke extensively of attempts by governments to increase rice production in the country. "
According to him, now Nigeria has reduced the import of rice by 90 percent, which means that we only need a little effort to reach 100 a year. He resolutely said that in two years Nigeria would leave the import of rice. Ogeh, insisted that Nigeria would be self-sufficient in rice production, and prices would also fall.
However, to look at the industry in the past indeed, shows fluctuations in local commodity production from 2,400 to 3,600 over the past five years. The import rate also increased to 5850 from 4800 over the same period of time. At the same time, there is an increase in consumption of the same goods in the country. Last year, consumption increased to seven million metric tons in accordance with government statistics, and only 2.7 million metric tons were produced by Nigerian farmers.
In 2016, Nigeria is projected to reach 2.7 million metric tons in 2017, if the state policy of import restriction was strictly observed. According to rice production statistics in Nigeria, imports began to account for 50 percent of local consumption rates.
However, after the policy was launched to promote agriculture, Nigeria implemented approximately N102.6 billion. As income from the value of rice produced locally by farmers in 18 states under the Central Bank of the Nigeria Borrowers Loan Program (CBN).
According to the report "Growth and Employment in the States" (GEMS4) on rice production in Nigeria from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, a program funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfID) entitled "Mapping rice cluster clusters in Nigeria", " GEMS4 "showed that Nigeria is reaping the benefits of the program" Anchor borrowers "CBN and is on the verge of achieving the goal of self-sufficiency of rice this year.
The breakdown of the report last year showed that the total production of rice pastures in Nigeria in 2016 was estimated at 17,487,562 metric tons, leaving about 11.4 million tons on the balance after accounting for 12.4% of rice production wasted due to losses after harvesting harvest,
Consequently, this left a total of 5.7 million tons of crushed rice, resulting in rice production in Nigeria approaching seven million projected rice requirements for 2016.
According to the report, 18 countries were selected on the basis of their contribution to national production in accordance with the 2015 Agricultural Production Review (APS). In these 18 states, rice farming was described as widespread in 165 clusters and 2,812 sub-clusters.
"The overall assessment of the production of rice oils in 2016 is 17.5 million tons with excess sales (after losses after harvest and domestic consumption) of 11.4 million tons (equivalent to 5.7 million tons of crushed equivalent), a little below the total national demand for rice, which is projected to reach seven million in 2016. This means that the country is moving towards its goal of self-sufficiency in rice, "the report says.
The state of Kebbi led by 3.56 million tons for the production of wet and dry seasons, and then Kano – 2.82 million tons. Kebbi produced 2.05 million tons in the wet season and 1.51 million metric tons in the dry season, while Kano produced 1.86 and 0.96 million tons during the wet and dry seasons respectively during the same period of time . However, only 10 of the 18 states were involved in the production of the dry season.
According to the study, GEMS4 initiated the cartographic implementation of rice production clusters through researchers and visits to counters in rice production areas in 18 states, namely Bauchi, Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, FCT, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Kogi.
Others are Quara, Nassarava, Niger, Ogun, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara. Researchers, according to the study, expressed optimism that information about rice clusters will support the development of supply chains from neighboring rice clusters around existing commercial rice plants or proposed new plants in the country.
The cluster is an agglomeration of different communities for the production of rice or subclusters located around a certain continuum of geographic production, which uses some natural resources, such as water and floodplains. GEMS4's findings showed that the states responded to the federal government's policy goal of reducing dependence on imports, especially rice, which drains about $ 1 billion a day for imports.
The report also notes that 10% of the total arable land in Nigeria is used for rice cultivation, although Nigeria is the largest rice producer in West Africa, it is the second largest rice importer in the world. Analysis of the report showed that the production of the dry season was 4,646,296.64 metric tons or 26.57 percent, cultivated at 3,037,324 hectares of agricultural land and seasonal season production of 12,841,265.18 metric tons or 73.43 percent, more than 859.624 hectares were cultivated .
He also showed that during the rainy season, 1.43 million rice farmers were involved, representing 17.7% of farm families in the rainy season in Nigeria. However, in the dry season, the estimated total number of farmers was 410 210 people, which is only 5.1 percent of the total number of farm families.
A notable conclusion about the average yield per hectare was that the yield during the dry season was consistent and relatively higher than in the wet seasons for all states participating in the cultivation of the wet and dry season, which opens the field of great prospects for political intervention in rice production in Nigeria.
It was found that the average yield per hectare of rice in the rainy season was the highest in Ebony, amounting to 5.63 metric tons, but the lowest in Kvar – 2.68 tons. During the dry season, the Niger recorded the highest average yield per hectare of 6.45 metric tons, while Kaduna had the lowest average yield per hectare of 3.5 metric tons.
However, the GEMS4 report indicates the possibility of increasing labor productivity, indicating that 13 per cent of farmers reported using the high yield method (transplanting seedlings), while 32 per cent used irrigation and 56 per cent had access to one hectare of additional land,
The report lists problems that, as noted, include finding that farmers usually report difficulties with acquiring the agro-industry, in particular the quality of seeds and fertilizers and access to credit. Infrastructure, such as irrigation facilities, feeder roads and storage facilities, is a problem with low quality or its complete absence.
Others include floods during the rainy season, poor access to information on modern farming practices and post-harvest technologies, poor access to credit and loss of labor through the migration of young people to cities, leading to aging of the rural population.
LEADERSHIP reports that, although rice is a traditional crop in Nigeria, local production was limited until recently. Domestic demand is growing, and at the same time, rice is the main commodity of world trade. Therefore, Nigeria is under pressure from international bodies that do not limit imports; so production in local conditions in accordance with the price of rice produced on large mechanized farms is a serious problem.
Significant efforts have been made to breed rice for West African conditions, both by the West Africa Rice Association of West Africa, and by national research and extension institutes such as the National Research Institute for Cereal Crops (NCRI).
Therefore, the DFID commissioned a three-country study, the MAP (Multi-Agency Partnership), which will be coordinated by the Overseas Development Institute, on the effectiveness of the links between local, national and international institutions in the dissemination of improved rice production technologies. More recently, the state government of Kebbi, announced the beginning of rice exports to the countries of West and North Africa.
Speaking when he hosted the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Transport Counselors (NBK) Barr Hasan Bello, the state's Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu said that the state began exporting rice to the Republic of Benin, Niger and Libya in the past three years,
"We are exporting rice because people from Benin, Niger and Libya are buying our rice, except when you define exports as sales to the West (Europe). Bello visited the governor with his management team to inform the governor about the plans to create a container warehouse (ICD) and a cargo transit fleet in the state of the Container Warehouse (ICD).
However, the Governor assured the Council of his administration's readiness to support any project that would facilitate trade facilitation and support economic growth. He described Kebbi as an agrarian state with potential in agriculture, including water splendor, which makes the state part of the Blue Sea economy.
Bagudu called the IBC and cargo transit park very important projects for the state, given that it has huge deposits of agricultural and minerals. He said that by sharing borders with the Niger and the Republic of Benin, Kebbi has the advantage of exporting goods.
The governor also explained that the state has seven large rivers, including the Argunga River, which contributes to the International Fish Festival, which has become a tourist destination. The Governor, in addition to being a rice producer, Kebbi, pronounces onions and peppers, adding that all this has made the planned Lolo Inland Container Depot and Truck Park very important.
Bello during the visit told the governor about the decision to build an IWC and a cargo fleet in the state. The Director General of the NSC, noting that the state is in a strategic plan, said that these two projects will stimulate the economy of the state with a large multiplier effect for the national economy.
Similarly, the Anambra state government began to deepen its partnership with farmers in order to further develop measures aimed at creating a state of the "food basket of the nation". Governor Will Objano said this during a meeting with rice farmers in Governor Amubia's lodge.
Farmers along the entire value chain of rice were collected from 21 local government districts in the state for a crucial meeting. The governor, while giving a briefing, said that his vision was to increase the rice harvest per hectare to add to the capacity for rice production.
He noted that "his administration's vision is still to produce more commercial quantities to replace consumer capacity." "Anambra is on the verge of exporting rice, in addition to other vegetables that have already begun to be exported, as this will help create jobs and generate income.
"The government intends to implement this through the provision of high-yielding varieties, helping to attract more people to rice production and helping to clean the land," he said, adding that his government had developed plans for a phase-out of local millers.
"This can be done only when the agreement was concluded between local producers and mechanized mills at a standard price for the export of paddies," said Obiano.