The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) are collaborating to sustain rice production through national and international platforms.
Mr Adegoke Kazeem, Country Coordinator of CARI Nigeria said this on Friday at the 1st edition of the National Working Group
(NWG) meeting of rice sector stakeholders on Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP).
Kazeem said it was necessary to further support the increasing local rice production in Nigeria to ensure food sufficiency.
According to him, the purpose of the meeting is to put together a NWG made up of strategic multi – stakeholders partners to serve as a governing structure for SRP.
Kazeem said the SRP was a global platform for multi-stakeholders partnership to promote resource efficiency and sustainability both on-farm and throughout the rice development.
“This would demand high level of commitment, adequate knowledge of the Nigeria Rice Value Chain and your organisation and individual interest in shaping its potential future trajectory.
“One of the objectives was to develop common visions that are aligned with the overall SRP vision and develop a roadmap outline to address priority national challenge,” he said.
Kazeem said the platform would drive rice sector transformation, facilitate new alliances and create share value.
He said the SRP was supported by UN Environment and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
Kazeem noted that the platform would improve smallholder livelihoods in developing countries, adding that it would also reduce environmental footprint of rice production.
Hajiya Karima Babangida, the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, said that the meeting would avail stakeholders the opportunity to discuss issues in promoting SRP to support in increasing domestic rice production in Nigeria.
Babangida, who was represented by Dr Fatima Aliyu, Deputy Director, Department of Cereals and Field Crops, FMARD said the ministry requested the CARI to be implemented by German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
Dr Philip Idinoba, (GIZ consultant on SRP), in his presentation said that the Nigeria’s rice market was estimated at about USD 6 billion and about 25 per cent to 30 per cent was imported.
Idinoba said the consumption of rice had doubled as the population increased, adding that there was need to increase the production of local rice to satisfy the growing population.
“The rice industry is growing and it is expected to grow to about USD 8 billion by 2030.
“Nigeria does not fall amongst the 10 top consuming countries but fall within the top four importing countries,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the sustainable rice platform is a multi-stakeholders platform established in 2011 to promote climate friendly practices for rice.