The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria in Bida on Wednesday expressed determination to partner with the CBN to reduce the price of rice in the country.
Malam Idris Usman, the Coordinator, RIFAN and CBN special project in Niger State made this known in Bida during the inauguration of the 2021 wet season distribution and sale of paddy rice to farmers.
The RIFAN and CBN’s coordinator said that the measure was geared toward economic recovery efforts of the Federal Government.
“We have set up our machineries to checkmate prices of rice in the market. We are going to agree with the CBN on what should be the result of whatever will be the price of rice for consumers in the market.
“Here we want to assure you that we will uphold that any miler who has benefitted from this recovery and sell a kobo above the price that we have agreed upon will be prosecuted.
“Today, under the directive of the CBN, we have inaugurated a committee for the recovered paddy rice from the rice millers to be able to review down drastically the cost of rice in the market,” he said.
Usman said that in the state, 32,000 rice farmers had been engaged to cultivate 50,000 hectares of land with inputs through the support of the Federal Government and the CBN.
“We anticipate that we will get between 20,000 to 30,000 tonnes of rice for sale to rice millers. This is our contribution to the economy and our efforts to stabilise the price of rice in the market,” the RIFAN and CBN’s coordinator said.
He said that about 10 per cent of the paddy rice had been recovered from the farmers.
He also announced that many farmers got their inputs on time, noting that there was no need not to return the 15 to 20 per cent paddy rice (nine bags of paddy rice) as agreed.
“In fact, they are participating and we are also receiving the recovery,” he said.
Usman said the 2020 farming season witnessed some challenges as some complained of cultivating with bad seeds.
“We have forwarded their complaints to the appropriate authorities. Henceforth, I don’t think we will give seeds that are not genuine or that are not good to farmers.
“If the seeds are not good, no amount of input will bring out any good yields from the farmers,” he said.
The coordinator said that for the 2021 wet season farming, 42,000 rice farmers had been captured to cultivate between 200,000 and 300,000 hectares of land in the state.
“We are bringing on board civil servants, academic institutions, students and youths to be fully engaged in the cultivation of rice farms. So, hopefully, we will start this distribution in a week’s time,” he said.
He warned that all farmers that had not fully paid back the paddy rice as the rules stipulated would not be considered for this forthcoming wet season distribution of hybrid seeds and inputs.