BusinessDay’s Nigeria Rice Industry report
It was estimated that about 50 per cent of the world’s population wholly or partially feeds on rice. To meet the demand of the constantly increasing population, different varieties of rice that allow farmers to record increased yields were developed. Even in Africa, million metric tons of rice are imported by the giant rice consumers like Nigeria to make up for their inadequate local production.
Nigeria is the largest importer of rice in Africa. A major concern for the federal government is the need to expand the rice sector through policies, programmes, initiatives, and the introduction of fully mechanised large-scale farming to achieve sustainable food security.
Given the importance of rice as a staple food in Nigeria, boosting its production has been accorded high priority by the government as an intervention in the space is beginning to realign the sector to its course as a vital foothold in the country. Consequently, in 2019, production increased to 4.79 million metric tons (MMT) while rice importation reduced to 1.80 MMT.
The report takes a look at Nigeria’s rice industry, its evolution, and the activities within its value chain to ensure a rice self-sufficient Nigeria. BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU) further looked at policies that were designed towards ensuring the expansion of the rice sector, overcoming the constraints of production, and ensuring sustainable food security for the over 200 million people.
Although the border closure resulted in increased productivity, rice smugglers returned to the table to strategize, hence, foreign rice still flourishes in the markets. Interviews by key stakeholders in the rice sector gave us an evaluation of the Nigerian rice industry, exposing a piped opportunity from which existing and new entrants within the value chain can tap.