The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Lagos Chapter, has promised that local rice in 50 kg, 25kg, and 10 kg measures would soon be available to consumers in commercial quantities all year round.
Mr Femi Oke, AFAN Lagos chapter Chairman, made this promise on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Oke noted that consumers could be getting impatient with the fact that local rice was not yet readily available in the market in commercial quantity.
He urged consumers of local rice to be patient with the local farmers and millers for local rice not having saturated the market to displace imported rice.
According to the AFAN chairman, rice farmers will soon have breakthrough in providing rice paddy to millers in the country.
He said that the rice millers were ready to produce polish rice, but the problem had been paddy rice which could not meet their plants’ capacity.
The AFAN Chairman said that with the expected World Bank financial support for rice farmers at five per cent interest rate, the farmers hoped to increase their planting and harvesting of paddy plants.
He added that planting and harvesting of paddy plants would also increase, if the kind of support the farmers were getting from government was sustained.
“We are sorry that local rice is yet to saturate the market to displace imported ones.
“However, this gap will soon be filled as time goes on and as the support to rice farmers is sustained.
“Most rice farmers just started farming rice about two years ago.
“Many states can now boast of increase in paddy rice production unlike what it used to be before farmers started getting support from the government.
“What farmers need now from consumers is patience as there will soon be breakthrough in the rice value chain,’’ he said.
Oke said that local rice cottage millers had been sustaining the market with rice being sold with the big tomato tin measure called “derica cup’’ at the rate of N350, N450, or N500 per cup depending on the area.
He said that big-time rice producers also had bags of rice in the markets but not enough to go round yet.