By Bukola Adewumi
Mararaba (Nasarawa) – A rice farmer at the ongoing 2019 National Agricultural Show, Mr Adelekan Ayodele has advocated a reorientation for Nigerians to patronise and consume locally produced rice.
Ayodele, the Chief Executive Officer of Ofada Rice Agro Processing Mill (ORAPM) on Thursday in Mararaba, Nasarawa said that there was need for reorientation for local rice consumption.
“We started the rice farming three years ago, the closing of the borders is a giant step that the government has made.’’
Ayodele said that since the borders were closed, it had impacted positively on their businesses, stressing that demand had increased as more people now demanded for local rice.
He said that to further increase the demand of local rice, there was need for reorientation, stressing that “people think local rice has stones’’.
According to him, there are no stones in rice again; we have stone free rice that when you are eating it you will not know that it is local rice.
“People need to know that there are standard rice mills that can provide the same standard with foreign rice,” he said.
He said some of the foreign rice had been stored for 15 to 18 years and must have lost their nutritional value and so many preservatives had gone into it to make it consumable.
According to him, foreign rice is not good for consumption compared to Nigerian rice.
Ayodele called for slash in the prices of local rice, stressing that he would remain an advocate of price slash for local rice.
“Local rice prices should be less because it is grown in our country; for now it may be high because it caught us unawares and the demand is higher than the supply but by next year more people will be going into farming.’’
He said more people would also go into processing, adding that demand and supply would then meet to bring the prices down.
He said that even with the border closure, he would not sell above what he had been selling.
“I have been selling ofada for N28, 000 and am still selling for the same price.
“Those using local machine to produce the price will be higher than the person using modern technology like auto boiler to produce.
“So we want the government to support us to see that farmers get equipment to boost production,” he said.(NAN)