“Rice grown in Nigeria can compete globally,” Association boasts
The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has expressed pride in the country’s locally grown rice, saying that it can now compete with those grown and processed in other parts of the world, especially as some foreign rice growers are arriving to establish rice-processing companies in Nigeria.
The National Secretary, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Dr Livinus Nwangwa said this in an interview with journalists at the weekend in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Nwangwa noted that Nigeria was not only getting ready to join rice-exporting countries but also exploring the possibilities of using rice as a by-product for other consumables.
The RIFAN National Secretary disclosed plans by stakeholders in the rice production value chain to begin the manufacturing of rice wine to stem its importation into the country.
“Rice is not only good for eating. There is rice wine, and rice cake, amongst other products.
“For example, rice wine is very nice and tastes so good. Rice wine is well developed in Japan where I studied rice development.
“And RIFAN is spearheading the manufacturing of rice wine in Nigeria. The process is already ongoing.
“Rice wine goes through the same fermentation process that wheat, sorghum and malt go through to make wine.
“We have had a series of meetings with the Ambassador of Japan and his team on this issue. We are trying to go to Japan and Thailand to get this done,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Nwangwa berated desperate businessmen, who repackage Nigerian rice as imported, emphasizing that Nigeria no longer imports rice:
“What we see now is that foreigners buy our rice and repackage it into foreign bags as ‘foreign rice’.
“Nigerian rice is almost of the same standard as imported.
“Most of the imported rice in our markets are locally produced but re-bagged and rebranded as foreign rice.
“We all know that the CBN no longer gives foreign currency for the importation of rice.”
Source: Agro Nigeria