According to local sources, in order to boost production and to become self-sufficient in rice production by 2015, the Nigerian government is planning to adopt high yielding hybrid rice varieties. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by the Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister with the African Technology Foundation (AATF) where AATF will aid the government of Nigeria to sponsor hybrid rice production in the country.
Nigerian Agriculture Minister commented that his association will “create sustainable hybrid rice agro-businesses to support rice farming in East, West and Southern Africa by determining precise relationships between yield, environment and genetics.” He also mentioned that ATA has entered into its third year of implementation of Growth Enhancement Support (GES), which would help increase the rice production.
GES is built upon an electronic wallet technology which provide subsidized farm inputs to around ten million farmers, including rice and would also keep track of the yields and productivity.
Government of Nigeria has made a huge goal to ban rice imports by 2015, where currently it imports around 3 million tons of milled rice annually and most of it is smuggled as the only production of 2.7 million tons was insufficient to fulfill the country’s consumption need that is around 6 million tons, as per the data provided by USDA.