By John Oba Abuja–
Th e Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) and the Rice Millers Association of Nigeria have promised to crash the price of rice to between N6000 and N7000 in the next few months once the government honours its promises and resolve the problems of rice smuggling across the borders.
Th e processors accused the Nigeria Custom Offi cers of connivance with rice smugglers across Nigeria-Cotonou border.
Both association yesterday in a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh said a pact has been signed to bring down the price of paddy rice which is the major source of production from the current N150,000 per ton to N110,000 per ton.
Currently, the price of 50kg bag of rice is sold for at least N18,000 across the country.
President Rice Processors Association of Nigeria, Mr Abubakar Muhammed, said: “Th e problem of high price of rice is of concern to us, so we have engaged with the farmers on how we can bring the price down while ensuring that the farmers get some reasonable price as well.
Th is is necessary now because we have the same enemies, which are the smugglers.
We have tried all necessary to ensure that their activities stop, but it still persist.
“With the attention government is giving to the sector and investment from the private sector.
We are tryingour best to ensure that in one or two years we are at per with other rice producing countries and our will be the cheapest in the world after sometimes.
We are working on how to bring the price down.
“Th is informs our meeting with the RIFAN, because once the price of paddy comes down, the price of rice will come down.
And if price of rice comes down the menace of smuggling will reduce.
As millers, once we are able to get the price of rice at low rate, I assure you, we will bring the price of rice down”, he promised On the quality of Nigeria rice, he said the quality of Nigeria rice is at per with other rice producing countries’ rice if not better.
Corroborating his words, the President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) Mallam Aminu Goronyo, said in few months’ time, if appropriate measures were taken by the government to ease the stress of rice production, the price of rice will crash in the market as promised.
Goronyo therefore said “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.