The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has called on the Federal Government to place a total ban on the importation of rice into the country. The association says implementation of the policy will see Nigeria attain self-sufficiency in the production of rice.
Stressing the need to encourage the country’s rice industry, Chairman of RIFAN, Nasarawa state chapter, Mr. Abbas Ramallan said to newsmen in Abuja that Nigeria has a large amount of arable land to support huge rice cultivation and feed the nation and other African countries.
He remarked, “We can take the challenge of China in the rice revolution. Let us follow its footsteps to stop rice importation. We want Nigeria to be self-sufficient and stop rice importation having such an association as RIFAN.”
Ramallan who revealed that President Buhari through RIFAN, has now initiated a collateral-free loan scheme for farmers, said “The Buhari’s loan revolving scheme without collateral would help us to expand rice production in the country.
“I am advising Nigerians, you do not have to buy expired rice from other countries while we can do it here. Let us join hands together and do it.
“You can see the advantage of closing the borders. It is not just because of rice smuggling, but crimes such as kidnappings have reduced significantly.”