Nigeria committed to achieving self-sufficiency in rice production by 2015, government official says, adding that 230,000 hectares of land would be used across country to promote rice production in current dry season

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

Nov 23, 2012 – Xinhua News Agency

LAGOS, Nigeria , November 23, 2012 () – Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, is committed to achieving self-sufficiency in rice production by 2015, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development Bukar Tijjani said on Thursday.

The official made the statement at a meeting with stakeholders involved in special intervention on dry season paddy production in the northern state of Sokoto.

"It is only when that is ensured that there will be a total ban on the importation of rice. It has to be a gradual process," Tijjani said.

He noted that as more and more Nigerians favor rice as their staple food, President Goodluck Jonathan has decided to try to make the nation self-sufficient in rice production.

"Now the federal government has put a 30-percent tariff on imported rice, as Nigeria seems to be a dumping ground for bad rice," the official said.

He said that 230,000 hectares of land would be used across the country to promote rice production in the current dry season.

The government would also provide a 50-percent fertilizer subsidy to rice farmers, he added.

(c) 2012 Xinhua News Agency

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