What perspective do Nigerian authorities have on Nigerian self-sufficiency in rice and wheat production? Let’s see what they say about their plans, hopes and ways to achieve this self-sufficiency.
As the specialists describe the situation, the domestic farmers are able to grow and produce at least 3 million metric tonnes of rice. That is far from being enough to cover the demand of Nigeria for this product. That is why the government has to import it in great quantities.
The amount of annual import of rice into Nigeria is at least 5 million metric tonnes. No matter how hard agricultural authorities encouraged the farmers to help reduce the import volumes by producing more on the domestic farmlands, it did not really work for many reasons, the biggest of which was miscommunication. It used to be a different way; but since 2008 numbers were extremely reduced.
However, the Head of the Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, announced that the country is now ready to produce enough to cover the demand for rice with the effort of local farmers. It seems to be more than just a promise, as politicians say that they are going to ban rice import to save costs.
The news broke recently that in certain areas farmers claim to have so much crops that they are even ready to export. However, these are more exceptions than a real rule.
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The success has already been seen in Kano state where the Governor announced that their production level has significantly increased since last year. Moreover, he added that millers are now ready to process as much crops as the farmers are willing to provide. The groups of farmers now seem to feel more optimistic about the volumes the government expects them to produce.
Nevertheless, the farmers made numerous complaints about the miscommunication they face with the millers. Authorities announced that they were ready to help solve this issue in order to accumulate all the possible effort to achieve the set goal.
Last year state authorities specializing in agriculture even offered fertilizers to the farmers as an attempt to increase production. It did not help, and they still needed to import both rice and wheat.
Still not all of the specialists feel sure about Nigeria becoming a self-sufficient state in certain corps. There is a number of factors that can block the rapid production growth. Among them the weather conditions, the soil fertility, etc. The Internet is now full of sarcastic jokes about the Minister of Agriculture having a magic wand. He does not really respond to that, but it depicts the general attitude to optimistic predictions.
Nigeria is now waiting for the improvement following statements of the authorities about 100% guarantees about a rapid growth in rice and wheat production. Time will show; however, Nigerians keep their fingers crossed to see that happening!