Nigeria is now the thirteenth highest producer of rice in the world. It is the first in Africa that the country would achieve the feat.
In a statement on Thursday, Ahmed Aminu, Technical Assistant to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, on Media and Public Relations, said this was disclosed by the Minister, Alhaji Muhammed Sabo Nanono earlier in the week at the inauguration of the Agribusiness Incubation Centre of Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State.
Nanono maintained that Nigeria had managed to attain this status from a net Impoter of the commodity to a sizeable producer moving towards self sufficiency in rice production.
He said the agricultural revolution being pursued by the present administration had given an attestation that Nigeria was capable of attaining any goal it set for itself as part of efforts to attain food security and wealth creation for the populace.
The minister said the rice production drive as championed by President Muhammadu Buhari administration had triggered off massive industrialisation with the springing up of countless rice milling facilities across the country generating tremendous job opportunities down the rice value chain as well as creating sizeable wealth for many.
Nanono disclosed that in Kano State alone there were 14 integrated rice mills with the capacity of producing between 180 and 400 metric tonnes of the commodity per day.
Another 32 integrated mills also abound in Kano with combined production capacity of another 100 to 120 metric tonnes per day, he said.
Thousands of rice milling clusters can also be found all over the federation, especially in the northern part, which add up towards the attainment of tangible self sufficiency in the staple food item as would enable Nigeria to sell rice to our neighbours in the not-too-distant future.
He wondered what would have happened to Nigeria if the rice production drive had not successfully taken off especially in view of the devastating economic effect occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19.
The pandemic, according to the minister, caused an
unprecedented oil glut in such a way that we could not have afforded to import rice even if we wanted to.
The Agriculture Minister therefore called on Nigerians, particularly the youths to key in to the massive agricultural drive to ensure the much-needed food security for one and all.