The Federal Government has threatened to shut some land borders if the smuggling of rice continues from neighbouring countries. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, gave the warning today in Abuja while speaking on some of the Federal Government’s achievements in the agriculture sector in the last two years.
Ogbeh said the decision became necessary to encourage local rice farmers and to enable the country achieve self-sufficiency in rice production by 2018. He said the importation of rice reduced from 580,000 tonnes in 2015 to 58,000 tonnes by 2016.
The Minister however said the difference will be totally eliminated by the end of this year, as more people are growing rice in the country. He said the Federal Government will distribute no fewer than 200 rice mills to millers across the states to encourage fresh milling of locally produced rice in order to make them more palatable than the imported ones.
Ogbeh added that the move will save about five million dollars for the country daily when achieved.