The Federal Government has been urged to establish at least one mega rice meal in each of Nigeria’s 109 senatorial district to encourage the production of the staple.
An agriculturist, Alhaji Abba Kale, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the weekend, saying it would in no small way help Nigeria attain self sufficiency in the production of rice.
Kale, who is one of the Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) clients in the Northeast, says Nigeria has paddy rice in prolific abundance and the produce cultivated by the farmers is higher than the capacity of the existing mills in the country.
Expressing support for the ban on importation of foreign rice, he said:“The ban on importation of foreign rice is a well come development, and the sudden hike in prices occasioned by the border closure can be pushed down and control through mass production.
“Most of the mills in operation lack basic equipment such as boiler, driers and trash machines to enable them to produce high-quality rice to meet local demands and for export.
“It is desirable for the Federal Government to support the establishment of mega mills by businesses in each of the senatorial districts to encourage productivity and attain self-sufficiency.”
He, however , showered plaudits on the Federal Government for closing the borders,noting that the measure would reinvigorate agriculture and manufacturing, stimulate government’s drive to diversify the economy and enhance security in the country.
Kale said there was need for Nigerians to support government policies and programmes as well as patronise local products for the sustainable social and economic development of the country.