The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), on Friday, commended Federal Government for its plans to close Nigeria’s border with a neighbouring country to stop rice importation through the land borders.

South-West Coordinator of RIFAN, Mr. Segun Atho, conveyed the commendation in an interview, in Lagos.

He noted that the indiscriminate importation of rice through the land borders had been increasing worrisome; particularly due to the fact most of the rice importers were smugglers who evaded the payment of customs duty.

He said that the proposed policy would boost local production of rice, adding that it would signal a new lease of life for local rice producers.

He said that the act would also encourage the establishment of more rice plantations and mills across the country.

“We need to appreciate the activities of rice farmers across the country; this is a right step in the right direction and the farmers are very happy about it.

“The nascent policy will encourage rice farmers to double their production because we are up to the tasks ahead.

“We are hopeful that this decision by the government will also encourage new entrants into rice cultivation,’’ he said.

Atho, however, urged the Federal Government to give more incentives to rice farmers so as to encourage them to produce more and meet the increasing demand for rice by the citizens.

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