The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono says it is unpatriotic for retailers to sell Nigerian rice above N14,000 to consumers.
He said the Ministry of agriculture will do everything possible to ensure affordable prices of rice across the country as the current border drill has no end in sight.
The minister stated this when he visited Popular Farm and Mills Limited, a Stallion Group Company alongside other federal government delegation.
According to Nanono, Nigeria has the necessary resources to achieve self-sufficiency in rice as there are over 50,000 Agric graduates that can get associated with Agric Extension services to drive better yield in the country.
“I see no reason why a 50kg bag of rice should be sold for N17,000, the same paddy rice is sold at N8,500 and maximum processing expense is N2,000 making a total of N10,500, it is unpatriotic to sell a bag more than N14,000 – N 15000.
“New technologies in farming should now percolate from the research institutes to actual farming practices in the field.
“The Federal Government will soon introduce Mechanisation Hub for all 650 local governments that will support the farming community with training and stocking of farming equipment like tractors, power tillers, harvester combiners etc,” he said
He further said that the federal government will hold a meeting with the rice millers to conclude on an affordable rate for rice for the consumers.
It would be recalled Stallion Group’s Popular Farms & Mills registered the best quarterly sale of rice post-Nigeria’s land border closure which has definitely boosted the local agriculture in Africa’s most populous country.
Although the policy rollout did come with some very severe short-term effects of price inflation and undesirable impact on legal cross border trade, but it was essential for a turnaround in the economy, many experts had said.
He further commended Stallion Group’s Popular Farms and Mills Limited, for investing an additional USD $70m to boost production of Agric business, especially rice and sesame in Nigeria.
He applauded Popular Farm’s local rice value chain from farmers to final retailers and clearly sees the huge potential and feels hugely encouraged.
Recently KPMG valued two of the top Stallion Group rice brands Royal Stallion at N66.1 Bn and Caprice at N 41.5 08 Bn a consolidated valuation of N 107.6 Bn establishing leadership in the formal retail market.
In his remarks the Managing Director of Popular Farms & Mills Ltd, Mr Amit Kumar Rai, stated that the company has entered into a partnership with over 1,151 cooperative groups, having 41,486 member-farmers as well as 65,715 hectares of rice farm area for developing the rice business.