Lagos - Nigeria is considering slapping a blanket ban on rice imports in 2015 to help local rice farmers.
Minister of information, Labaran Maku, said in a statement government was spending billions of naira on imports instead of investing in local agriculture.
“What President Jonathan has decided to do is to give a target of 2015 to ban rice into Nigeria, so that local farmers would have the capacity to produce rice. It is a shame we continue to spend billions and billions of naira to import rice," the minister said.
The Minister however called for rapid modernisation of local rice processing to bring it in line with international standards and destroy the myth that the local product is of an inferior quality.
Maku lamented the abolition of marketing boards in 1980, saying this had weaned farmers off commercial traders and negatively impacted bulk purchases and processing.
– CAJ News