The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Sabo Nanono, has stated that Nigeria will begin to export rice to the other nations in the next two years.
Nanono, who made this known after a visit to Nestle Nigeria in Lagos, said that the nation’s land border closure had boosted the outputs of many rice milling plants that were once operating below their capacities.
According to the Agric Minister, the enhanced production rate at which rice is being produced, as well as the capacities at which rice milling plants operate and their rapid growths, will very soon lead to exportation to other countries.
He said that if the drive is being maintained in the next couple of years, it is possible for rice exportation to the other countries commences.
Nanono further disclosed that the country presently has up to 11 rice milling plants, with the capability to produce 180 tonnes to 350 tonnes of rice in a day. In addition, 35 new mills would be launched, including one with the capability to produce 400 tonnes of rice in a day, he said.
The Managing Director, Nestle Nigeria PLC, Mauricio Alaron, while giving his remarks, requested for a healthy working relationship with the Ministry.
He said that more than 80 per cent of the Nestle products are procured locally, adding that one of their major products, Golden morn, is made of 100 per cent local source which includes maize, millet, salt, sugar and cocoa.
In 2019, the Director-General of the Africa Rice Centre in the Benin Republic, Harold Roy-Macauley, declared Nigeria to be the largest rice producer in Africa.
According to Roy-Macauley, Nigeria produces 4 million tonnes of rice per year, surpassing Egypt, which has previously been sitting on the top of the rice producer list in Africa.