Rice farmers have given the general public an assurance that a 50kg bag of rice will sell for N9,000 in three weeks’ time, after recording a bumper harvest this year. They also promised that more rice would flood the market thereby forcing market prices downward, against the continual hoarding that raised the price to about N26,000.
Aminu Goronyo, the President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), confirmed this development, saying, “We have a bumper harvest that we never had before. We have never had the type of bumper harvests that we recorded this year.”
The Details: He expressed his unhappiness at the actions of unscrupulous middlemen who used the border closure to create widespread scarcity for selfish reasons. He also promised that the increase in the prices of rice will no longer persist.
“There are enemies of this country who buy and store this commodity just because they want to create artificial scarcity. But let me tell you, our harvest is coming up in the next two to three weeks, and the paddy coming to the mills, our millers cannot even mill it.
“No matter who is trying to hoard or create artificial scarcity as seen in certain locations, such persons will be disappointed,” he said.
Findings by Nairametrics Household Surveyshowed that various brands of locally made rice witnessed a significant 12.9% increase in price, from an initial average of N18,000 to N19,500. Also, imported rice is now being sold at an average of N26,000.
As a means to stop artificial scarcity and reduce the price of rice, Goronyo said RIFAN members had resolved to stop selling rice paddies to individuals who were not millers.
“We’ve noticed that there are people who move into the market to buy paddy rice and who are not even millers. We don’t know where they come from. They are enemies of this country because they just want to put Nigeria in a situation where we have artificially induced rice scarcity.
“We are now taking steps to address this by ensuring that no paddy rice buyer will come to the farmers directly and buy unless he identifies himself. There should be a broker who will verify the buyer to know whether he is a miller or not. So that is what we are trying to do now.
“Our promise is that Nigerians will continue to get this commodity at an affordable price and it will be available. And like I said to you, we are still selling at N7,500 per bag of paddy and millers are officially selling at N14,000.
“I don’t think the price will go up, rather the only thing we hope is that the price will continue to come down and definitely it will. Some of our millers sell at N12,000 and we hope that Nigerians will buy a 50kg milled rice at between N9,000 and N10,000,” Goronyo added.