With new investments on facilities for rice production and processing becoming fully operational, it is expected that this sector will be able to bestow about $9 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The agriculture minister commented that Nigeria has produced around 1.9 million tons of rice in 2013 wet and dry seasons.
Rice sector has also created about 670,000 jobs locally and contributed about N320 billion (around $2 billion) to the GDP. The rice production is expected to reach 2.9 million tons in 2014, making Nigeria self- sufficient in rice production and possible exporter in future.
There are various steps taken by the government to boost rice production, such as Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES) for improvement of rice value chain under Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA), the government is providing financial support to stakeholders, rice farmers are motivated to adopt high yielding varieties such as Faro 45 and 52m with capacity of 6 to 7 tons per hectare. Subsidized inputs are provided to farmers and mechanization services through Agricultural Equipment Hiring Service (AEHE).
Nigeria is hence now aiming to ban rice imports by 2015, but self sufficiency still bears certain challenges. The government is also planning to build rice mills with larger capacities and is expected to produce about 2.8 million tons of rice in MY 2013-14 against utilization of 6 million tons.