……Seeks Partnership with ACCI
The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) intends to partner with Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in moving the rice revolution in Nigeria forward.
Making this intention known on Monday, the National President of RIFAN, Aminu Mohammed Goronyo who visited ACCI with his team, disclosed that the Association is set to showcase the largest rice pyramid to the world.
He said that the entire 774 Local Government Areas across the country are covered by its various clusters and by 2018 figures, it has over 12.2 million members who are involved in the four components; production, processing, packaging and marketing.
“Our Association partners with the CBN and Nigeria Government for production purposes. With the support of CBN through the anchor borrower scheme, we have hit our target for production.
“The Rice Farmers produce 8.5-9million metric tonnes monthly and Nigerians consumed 1.8million tonnes daily. You can see that Rice, a staple food that is easily accessed by most households has a very high market value,” he added.
“When government ordered the shutdown of borders, we had to increase local production of rice as a staple food. The Rice consumed by Nigerians is locally produced and the best for consumption.”
He said RIFAN has partnered with some West African countries to boost Rice production and that RIFAN has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them to boost local production of Rice in those countries, because they have seen that it is working in Nigeria adding “this has made the Association to go International”.
“We signed an MoU with Republic of Benin to boost Rice Production because they have seen that local production is working here. Benin Republic has come to learn how to replicate what we are doing in their country. Before Nigeria’s rice revolution, Benin Republic was the largest exporter of rice in the world but they don’t produce rice and they were exporting to Nigeria.”
He also said rice production is the single largest employment revolution in Nigeria as at today and the activities on ground have truly shown that rice production is still evolving and is taking Nigeria to places.
The President ACCI, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar who received the team said, the Rice Pyramids on display show that RIFAN is doing well adding that the Rice revolution has brought in a lot of changes into Nigeria’s Agricultural sector.
“Despite insecurity, what we are seeing in the display of the Rice Pyramid is massive and we know that without insecurity the production would have been more. Agricultural market is what will revive the economy if we face it squarely.”
The ACCI Vice President Agriculture, Dr Kolawole Owoka who gave kudos to RIFAN said what Nigeria needs is production to help our youth engage meaningfully and to also drive our foreign exchange.
“We will look at the value chain as a Chamber and see where we can key in, and that will be part of the MOU to be signed with your Association.”
The Director General ACCI, Victoria Akai also lauded RIFAN while reiterating that the Chamber is happy to partner with the Association adding that Nigeria has huge potential in Agriculture but has not really tapped into it.
“In whatever we are doing, we must tap into the land to harness the potentials therein. RIFAN is a well-structured Association and we know if we partner with you it will create great impact on our members.”
The eye-catching paddy rice pyramid located within the Chamber’s premises is scheduled for launching by President Buhari on the 20th of February, 2022 after which they would be sold to rice millers across the country.