Rice production may not exceed 7.8 million tonnes in the 2020- 21 marketing year because of the COVID-19 measures
A total of 1.75 million metric tonnes of local rice valued at N402billion ($855.7million) is expected to be exported to its major buyers, Burkina Faso and Niger and some neighbouring countries, in 2021.
A tonne is projected to cost $489 or N229,830. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its 2021 forecast, Nigeria exported 1.2 million in 2020 production year. Already, the Federal Government had said that rice production would reach 10 million metric tonnes in 2021 through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Private Sector-Led Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (P-AADS).
However, USDA noted that rice production may not exceed7.8 million tonnes in the 2020-21 marketing year because of the COVID-19 measures, which has restricted access to rice farms during the planting period. Currently, the grain consumption is put at 6.7 million metric tonnes out of which 57 per cent are consumed locally.
It would recalled that the Federal Government has said that a total of five million metric tonnes had been produced in the wet season, while five million metric tonnes will be produced during this dry season.
It would be recalled that at the flag-off of 2020/2021 dry season, rice farming and distribution of inputs in Niger State, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, were of the view that the country could be self-sufficient in rice production through the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the apex bank.
The governor said that 380,000 metric tonnes of rice were produced annually in the state, saying this was less than its capacity. Also, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, the National President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), said that the volume of rice production needed to increase from 6.9 million tonnes per annum to 10 million considering the growing population.
He explained that the CBN was intervening in various ways to crash the price, assuring that the price of rice would come down as markets would be flooded with local brands of rice. Goronyo added that through the financial effort and the involvement of the CBN and RIFAN, the prices of milled rice would fall.
Last year, the country imported 1.56million tonnes of the grain despite some measures to curtail importation. Findings revealed that Nigeria has been able to produce 76.4 per cent of its consumption, leaving a total of 23.6 per cent shortfall as only 57 per cent of its local rice is consumed.
The country rice import was 1.3 million tonnes but was increase in 2020 by 16.67 per cent or 1.56million tonnes. As at October, 2020, it was gathered that locally milled rice production had reached 5.04million tonnes or N1.15trillion ($2.51billion) because of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s anchor borrowers’ scheme, which boosted local production 600,000 tonnes.
Last year, the Federal Government made moves to attract N250 billion investments in rice production following plans to establish an additional 14 rice mills in the country.
However, the price of the grain went up because of heavy rain and flood, which destroyed crops in the northern part of the country.
The Senior Research Analyst, Financial Derivatives Company (FDI), Temitope Olugbile, had said that scarcity of rice should be expected as 450,000 hectares of rice or two million tonnes had been washed away in Kebbi state out of the expected 2.5 million tonnes, noting that this would lead to higher demand for the commodity and price increase.