If we produce 30 million metric tons of rice, even at $500 per ton that is about $15 billion
In separate interviews with the Daily Independent, agriculture stakeholders stressed that the proper policies must be put in place, that farmers must be taught and retrained on proper agricultural techniques, and that improved seedlings must be made available.
Rice, a basic basic food, may be farmed in all 36 of the United States’ states.
Rice cultivation, he added, represents a significant economic potential for the country in terms of its capacity to create jobs and boost foreign exchange earnings.
In response, Prince Wale Oyekoya, an agriculturalist/consultant, stated that with the appropriate strategy in place, it is feasible to create even more than that.
He believes that the best way for the country to do this is through mechanized farming, more processing equipment, greater infrastructure, a more conducive atmosphere, and better financial arrangements with real farmers rather than political farmers.
â€œMost of our arable lands are underutilised and kept by the state
governors. Nigeria has no business importing rice with all the land and
â€œWe are one of the largest populations consuming rice in the world
and someone needed to wake up our leadÂers from slumber and save the
country from starvation and abject poverty.
â€œBy so doing, our youths will be gainfully employed and our Gross Domestic ProdÂuct (GDP) will be increased,â€ he added.
According to Ijewere, the nation must enhance its production, enhance farmer training for best practices, and enhance the availability of regulated water so that fields are not flooded.
He also mentioned the necessity to invest in processing and logistics, emphasizing that it is a goal that can be realized.
â€œThe fact that it is achievÂable does not mean that it will come
automatically, we have to work for it and take all those things into
considÂeration and you will be surÂprised how easily we can get there
but those are issues that need to be addressed,â€ he said.
Rice Farmers AssociaÂtion of Nigeria (RIFAN), Oyo State Chapter Chairperson Akinlade Samuel claimed that the Kebbi State governor understands what he is talking about since he is a rice farmer to the core.
â€œHe is saying the truth, for instance, we have many states that have
the farmers but they donâ€™t have the land to cultivate; if the farmers
can collaborate with each other it is possible.
â€œNow, I am in Oyo State. I can have a farmland in Osun State and I
will be in Oyo State and be planting in Iwo that is one of the ways
farmers can collaborate.
â€œLagos State with its millÂing machine if they can colÂlaborate with
other states we will agree that we will be sendÂing our rice to Lagos
State, that is if the state governor can see it that way.
â€œSo where there is no land we can get land from other
states, where there is no millÂing centre we can get it in othÂer
states; by that everybody will be encouraged to plant more because the
milling centre is sure and the person to buy the rice paddy is sure, we
will produce more and by that we will not know when we will be producing
excess for export,â€ he said.
He also urged state governments to assist farmers with irrigation and for the federal government to take an interest in agriculture.
Bagudu had previously stated that Bangladesh, which covers roughly one-fifth of Nigeria’s area, produces around 38 million metric tons of rice. As a result, nothing in Nigeria stands in our way of accomplishing that goal.
â€œIf we produce 30 million metric tons of rice, even at $500 per ton
that is about $15 billion. States should compleÂment each other and that
is what we have been doing in Kebbi. We share knowledge.
â€œKebbi is becoming the hub of rice production in NiÂgeria; we are not
competing with other states. If you recall, I have always said, one of
NiÂgeriaâ€™s blessings is that rice grows in 36 states and the FedÂeral
Capital Territory (FCT). There is no state that cannot grow rice. Even
Lagos, which has relatively small landmass, still has some rice
production going on in there.
â€œWhen we complement each other, everyone beneÂfits,â€ Bagudu said.