“The price of rice may go up again by December because of the high demand. If government had allowed importation earlier, the price of rice could have crashed by December to N15000 from the current N18,000. Rice may stay two months on transit to get to the table of Nigerians from the time FG gave it a go. May take another 5years for Nigeria to achieve self-sufficiency target”
Olam Rice Farm has attributed the increasing price of rice in the country to high-demand and supply gap, increasing cost of seeds, fertilizers, chemicals and high cost of diesel among other factors of productions.
The General Manager Project Coordinator Olam Rice Farm Mahesh Ninye in an interview with journalist on a visit to the rice farm said the price of rice may not go down very soon except government take drastic step like allowing importation of the food crop into the country.
He said “last year a ton of paddy sold for N65,000 this year it is N150,000, the mill is run on diesel for 24hours, the road are very bad, the price of farm input have multiplied all this things added up to increase the price of rice from N9000 to the current price of N17,500.”
The GM of Olam Rice Farm producer of Mama’s Pride said the price of rice may go up again by December because of the high demand, adding that if government had allowed importation in October, the price of rice could have crashed by December to N15000 from the current N18,000. “But if government allow importation now it would take another two month to get to the table of Nigerians”
Ninye said currently the rice demand in the country is about 6million metric tons while the supply is 3.5million mt leaving a demand-supply gap of 2.5million mt, stressing the need for government to increase access to finance for farmers, encourage many international investors to invest in rice production, provide them with enabling environment, infrastructures, among other things to scale down the price of rice.
Similarly, the General Manager said that no rice importation has taken place in the last one year, he said it would still take the country another 5years to achieve self sufficiency in rice production. He said “government should not completely ban rice importation what they could have done was to gradually cut down import”
He said “the 2017 date set to achieve self sufficiency in rice production is not feasible, it will take another 5years to achieve that target. Government need to support the farmers to increase yield per hectare, support international farms to come and establish project like Olam farm, bring in more young generation into farming”
Olam Farm is currently producing 40,000mt of paddy rice, cultivated on 4,500 hectares on two cycles of wet and dry season and the farm is currently engaging 5500 out growers to cultivate 5000 hectares of land.