50kg Bag of Rice to Cost N6,000 in Few Months—Farmers
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
National President of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Mallam Aminu Goronyo, has disclosed that within the next few months, the price of 50kg of rice would crash to about N6,000.
However, he said if the Federal Government can put in place the necessary farm inputs to reduce the cost of production, price of the commodity will continue to drop.
At the moment, the price of 50kg of rice goes for N16,000 at the market, while the Lagos State government sells its LAKE rice for about N12,000.
Addressing newsmen on Wednesday after a meeting of his association with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, as well as members of Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN), Mr Goronyo noted that rice farmers only need government’s support to make the staple easily affordable for Nigerians.
“This is just the beginning, the actual and real price should even come down because we are expecting a bumper harvest this year and we have sat down with the millers and agreed that we are going to work together for the interest of Nigerians.
“We are expecting that the price of 50kg rice to drop to N6,000 per bag, just give us the next few months, you have heard what the Minister said, our major challenge is cost of production, the minister has promised to bring down the cost of production to the nearest minimum,” he told journalists.
On his part, National President of Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN), Mr Mohammed Abubakar, explained that the meeting with the Minister was basically to inform him of the decision by the rice farmers and Processors to reduce the price of rice to N13,500 per 50kg bag.
“We came here to inform the Minister of our agreement with the farms on the price of paddy, to let the Minister know that we have agreed on a price per ton of paddy for this year 2017 and 2018 wet season harvest for N110,000 per ton, as against the N150,000 we buy initially, and we were selling the rice for N16,000 per 50 kg bag, so if this works, we will sell the bag of rice for N13,500 according to where you are buying from.
The Minister, while addressing newsmen, said government will continue to procure farm machines to assist the rice farmers to ease the stress of rice production, and consequently further crash the prices of rice in the market.
He noted that if the price of rice is crashed to N13,500, the smugglers’ margin will become too small.
Mr Ogbeh described smugglers as the biggest enemy of the Nigerian economy.
“The biggest enemy of the Nigerian rice farmers and processors are the smugglers, if the price of rice falls to N13,500, smugglers margin becomes too small and we hope that the measures we are going to take can end the smuggling of rice and many other things.
“We will help you ease the burden of rice farming, last year, we procured 8,000 threshers, this year we are going to procure another 2,500 threshers, and we are bringing small reapers to distribute to your farmers, so they can cut the rice with the machine thresh it with the machine, willow it and put it in the sack, and take away all that stress which makes rice farming very difficult.
“I assure you government will continue to procure and support rice farmers so that you can keep to the price you have agreed of a N110,000,” he said.