The Federal Government is working toward strengthening all the value chains to boost productivity and improve yield by reducing the price of fertiliser to cut down the price of locally produced rice.
The minister for Budget and Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma said that the Federal Government was collaborating with the Morocco Government in this regard.
“The imported rice is coming in; most of them are subsidized and undercutting the locally produce rice, which has higher quality.
“The problem is bringing down the price of our rice; we are trying to support rice production by bringing down the price of fertiliser because the price of inputs determines the price of output.
“We are trying to see how we can bring down the prices of farm inputs so as to cut down the prices of local rice in the country.
“We have an agreement with Morocco to import phosphate from the country to blend and support fertiliser production.
“The whole value-chain, first of all, you have to start from the seed. One of the things that the Federal Government is doing is to support the development of seeds because high-quality seeds will engender improved production.
“We are also working on fertiliser; what the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has done is undertaking soil analyses of all soil in the 36 states.
“And they have been able to ascertain the blend of fertiliser that is most suitable for a particular kind of soil.
Udoma also said that the Federal Government was assisting farmers in the area of soft loans so as to enable them to increase their production and aid the nation’s efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.
“In addition, the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) gives loans to farmers at low, single-digit interest rate. In this manner, the government is intervening in various links of the chain to support agricultural production,’’ he said.
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