Rice consumers in Jos have notified the State Government about the subversive action by some unscrupulous dealers that are into the unwholesome practice of opening normal bag of local rice to remove part of the commodity and re-bag them as actual contents.
This criminal trend is promoted by dubious dealers and marketers to take the advantage of the Federal Government directive for the closure of Nigeria border to stop the smuggling of foreign rice from the neighbouring countries and also to promote the local rice in Nigeria.
Though local rice in Nigeria has greatly improved in quality and it can compete with the foreign ones but this unpatriotic practice of re-bagging of the commodity has been affecting its demand, price and sales now.
Both government and rice investors should not spare efforts to arrest this anti-development practice before it becomes a tradition in the rice value chain as we can see in the Plateau state.
The impact of this activity was the hike in the price of the product due to re-bagging and the adulteration of destoned local rice with the stony ones. As a result of this practice, the price range used to be between N12000 and N15000 but the price is now within the range of N17000 and N19000 per 50 kg bag of rice.
One major rice distributor in the State called on the Government to look into this practice to sustain its efforts of boosting the local production of rice. He said that this practice doesn’t hid to him as he knew about it how some people re-bagged good quality rice. But there is nothing he can do about it since he’s not in the position of authority to stop such practices.
The dealers demand stiffer sanctions for those involved in the re-bagging of local rice. He noted that the practice amounted to economic sabotage inimical to the Federal Government’s stance on the agribusiness practices.