The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria says its members now have the capacity to produce 24 million metric tonnes of rice annually.

The RIFAN National Treasurer, Alhaji Sadiq Daware, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Yola.

Daware said that the development resulted from encouragement and capacity building of rice farmers by the present administration.

He said: “Nigeria has over 12 million rice farmers cultivating an average of 0.5 hectare for two to three farming cycles annually, with an average output of four metric tonnes per hectare.

“What we need are commitment and the belief that we can feed this country and also export.”

He lauded Federal Government’s approval of establishment of an integrated rice mill in Bauchi.

Daware said that RIFAN was deploying additional two integrated rice mills in Adamawa and Gombe states.

According to him, the Federal Government’s Anchor Borrowers Programme has significantly provided inputs, cash support and value for Nigerian rice production and marketing.

He said: “Some European countries patronise made in Nigeria rice.”

NAN reports that Nigeria’s rice production capacity reached 15 million metric tonnes in 2017.

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