AUDU Ogbeh, minister of agriculture, has explained that locally-produced rice are still more expensive than the imported brand because foreign governments subsidize the rice which end up being imported into Nigeria. Speaking at a Town Hall meeting in Abuja, he pointed out that most of the rice imported into Nigeria are from Vietnam, India and Thailand, adding that Thailand subsidises the export of rice.
He stated that the imported rice arrive the country at about N9,000 per bag, and are then sold at about N13,000 per bag to consumers unlike the local rice which sells for an average of N16,000 per bag. Ogbe, who was responding to a question at the town hall, disclosed that another reason for the high cost of local rice is the cost of diesel to run generating plants in the farms. “Diesel went from N180 per litre to N300,” he noted.
He stressed that the federal government was very concerned about the high cost of local rice, disclosing that he would be having a meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun to discuss rice prices among other matters. “In the next one month, you’ll have Nigerian rice in the shop at the best price we’ve ever had,” the minister assured.
Ogbeh went on to decry the high interest rates charged for farming loans, stating that “our interest rate in this country is higher that the interest rate in most parts of the world.”
— May 17, 2017 @ 10:30 GMT