Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Gombe State chapter has said that the closure of Nigeria’s land borders by the Federal Government is a step in the right direction as it will boost local production.
Kalagar Lubo, State secretary of RIFAN said this in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Tuesday in Gombe. He said with the rain in October, farmers will have adequate rice yields which will match local consumption. Lubo noted that it was possible for the rice farmers to feed the country after which they will export rice across the globe. Lubo said that the closure of the border will help to bring down the cost of production and the farmers will realize the money used in planting.
“With the extension of rains to the end of october, the yield will be good. The home production is very good, first it is fresh and the value is good. If the border is opened the farmer will not have it good. When you buy a bag at N10,000, it will cost you just N20,000 for two bags. When you go to the market, a bag of foreign rice is sold at N18,000.”
He urged consumers to accept local rice as a healthy alternative as there are local rice without stones noting that the advantage of consuming local rise far outweighs the demerits. “Nigerians for who they are, or human nature for what it is, people have a taste for what comes from outside. Local rice is fresh, unlike foreign rice that spends years before coming to your homes. At RIFAN, once we attain self-sufficiency, then we export our local rice to other parts of the world” he said.
Lubo added that the closure of the border has multiple benefits for the development of the country. “Naturally borders are supposed to be monitored, for those going in and out. It has been so relaxed that goods and people come in. Now that the border has been closed we have multiple benefits, security wise, weapons can not be smuggled easily, people will be checked and contraband can’t come in. Because people are not used to it, they will react negatively but with time people will get used to it.”