Rice farmers, millers and processors on Wednesday announced that the price of a 50kg bag of the produce would fall to around N6,000 in the next few months.
According to them, the current market price of rice, which is about N15,000 per 50kg bag, will drop to between N6,000 and N7,000 in a couple of months going by the bumper wet season harvest by farmers.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting between the rice farmers/processors and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, at the ministry’s headquarters, in Abuja, the National President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Aminu Goronyo, told journalists that the operators had resolved to reduce the price of the commodity to N13,000 per 50kg bag, but stressed that the price would further drop to N6,000 in the coming months.
He said, “This is just the beginning, the actual price of rice will come down because we are expecting a bumper harvest this year. We have sat down with the millers and agreed that we are going to work together in the interest of Nigerians.
“I think you had been buying a bag of rice at the cost of N18,000; but today, the price is between N13,000 and N15,000; meaning that the price is coming down.”
Asked whether the price would crash further as was the case some years back, Goronyo replied, “Of course! Not even N7,000, it will crash to N6,000. Just give us some time; in fact, in the next few months, it will be N6,000 for 50kg.
“You have heard what the minister said earlier. Our major challenge is the cost of production, but the minister has promised to bring down this cost to a very minimal level. I won’t state a particular month, but I can tell you that this will happen in the next few months. The various stakeholders, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, have all agreed to work with us.”
The President, Rice Processors Association of Nigeria, Abubakar Mohammed, stated that operators in the rice value chain were working hard to crash the price of the commodity.
This, he said, prompted the meeting with Ogbeh, as he explained that rice farmers, millers and processors had agreed to cut down the cost of rice paddy, a development that would obviously bring down the market price of the commodity.
“The price is N110,000 at the farm per tonne of paddy. Bringing this down in relation to the cost of one bag of rice, as we mentioned it to the minister earlier, a 50kg bag will now drop to between N13,000 and N13,500. This will reduce further in the coming months.
“Before, we used to buy paddy at the rate of N140,000 to N150,000 per tonne, and we sold at about N16,000 per 50kg bag . So, if this works, we hope to sell a bag of rice at between N13,000 and N13,500, according to where you are in the country; and the paddy cost will be N110,000 per tonne.”
Asked whether there were doubts as to the workability of the latest initiative between the private sector players and the Federal Government, Mohammed replied, “No! We have just signed the Memorandum of Understanding. So let the process start and if it works, then it is fine for everybody.”