Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Sept 6, 2018 20:11:35 GMT 1
MINISTRY BLAMES LOCAL RICE SCARCITY ON ON MARKET DISTORTION AS EBONYI SHUTS DOWN ABAKALIKI RICE MILL
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has said that the scarcity of rice in the market is due to breakage between joint rice millers and the supply chain.
Deputy Director, Rice Value Chain in the ministry Mrs. Fatimah Aliyu, made this statement at the Second National Congress, themed Policy Dialogue and Inauguration of the Board of Trustees of Rice Assured Advocacy Forum (RAAF) in Abuja.
Aliyu said although there was higher demand for the local rice, integrated millers were unwilling to supply the market due to fear of competition with international rice millers.
The millers argued that the cost of rice had skyrocketed due to infrastructure, and the smuggling of foreign rice into the country.
The Director however pleaded with stakeholders in the rice value chain under RAAF to address the challenge with urgency and proffer possible solutions.
In her words, “Once you, the stakeholders, give us those suggestions, government is going to look at them because the situation is also a problem to government.”
“Integrated millers have invested so much in the business, and even government has also invested so much in it. So, it is of importance that integrated millers succeed,’’.
On his part, the pioneer National Deputy President of RAAF, Alhaji Rafau Lawal, said a policy was being looked into to encourage the consumption of local rice while urging Nigerians to embrace consumption of locally produced rice.
The government of Ebonyi State has directed the close up of Abakiliki rice mill over alleged poisoning and adulteration.
The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Emmanuel Onwe, who disclosed this at a press briefing, said that the issue was reported to the State Commissioner of Environment, who reported it to the State executive council.
Onwe further said that the government had directed that the line of ministries investigate the matter.
“We do not know where the rice was adulterated or poisoned and the state of the poison but what we know is that it was reported to the state commissioner of Environment who brought the matter to the state executive council.” He said.
He added that “The order to seal the Abakaliki rice mill is to protect the lives of the people; as a responsible government that is what we have done”.rice citing Tanzania as an example.