Kebbi state government has disclosed its plans to embark on rice exportation in large, commercial quantity to other countries.
The State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Hon. Zailani Mohammed, made this known while delivering a speech tagged “State’s Export Development Initiative on Rice”, at the Second National Committee on Export Promotion (Technical Committee Meeting).
Mohammed stated that with an abundance of arable lands and over 3 million rice farmers which made 70% of the total rice farming population in the country, the state had all the needed resources to go into exportation of rice.
According to him, “Nigeria is ranked as largest producer of rice in West Africa, at the same time ranked second largest importer of rice in the world as at 2014, incurring an average import bill of N1b daily on rice import. An estimated 72 per cent of total rice produced in the country, comes from the seven states of the North West of Nigeria. Kebbi State is currently the highest rice producer with a total output of 3.56million mt (Wet season-2.05 mt and Dry season-1.51mt).”
“Currently, investment in rice production-both public and private in the state is: wet season-N87.44b and dry season-N48.61b. An estimated 923,770km square of landmass of which only 40 per cent is arable. 10 per cent of them are under-cultivated.” He said
“Currently, Kebbi State can boast of over 1.5 million practicing farmers, representing 34 per cent of the total population of 4,343,604 projected from the 2006 census.” He added
Mohammed stressed that the state would not only export rice alone but other agricultural produce such as tomatoes, soya beans, wheat amongst others.