Central bank of Nigerian, CBN governor Godwin Emefiele has reiterated the need for Nigerians to embrace local food production as one of the ways of conserving scarce foreign currency.
He stated this weekend during a meeting with Officials of State Governments and Rice Processing Companies in Abuja.
According to him, “in a bid to further encourage investments in the local rice production and milling industry, the Federal Government in May 2014, launched a new rice policy through the introduction of an import duty differential on rice (brown or polished) imported by investors in the sector with a verifiable backward integration agenda.”
He said that the massive importation of rice in the past year seems to have resulted in a glut in the local rice market. Consequently, this has affected the local rice paddy farmers, who are left with huge unsold stock of paddy across the country.
Emefiele said that CBN is determined to stem this unfortunate trend. “We therefore wish to appeal to those of you who are Rice importers to desist from the practice of importing Rice into the country rather than patronize the locally produced Rice.”
“Let me reiterate myself that the denial of FX for import of these products including Rice from the interbank did not connote that importers should now resort to purchasing FX from the BDCs and parallel market.”
He explained that BDCs and Banks have been advised to desist from such practice and anyone caught in this practice will be sanctioned.
“In a bid to salvage the industry, encourage farmers to go back to their farms and increase the low utilization capacities of our mills, you will agree with me that it was expedient to include rice in the FX exclusion list. “He asserted.
“This meeting has been called specifically to address this seeming glut of rice paddy in the country, how these will be mopped up by rice millers and also going forward the development of a long term implementation plan to create an efficient ecosystem whereby millers work in close partnership with local rice paddy small holder farmers to create sustainable out grower schemes.”
The CBN boss said that the programme has been designed to create economic linkages between farmers and processors to not only ensure increased agricultural output of rice paddy but also importantly close the gap between production and consumption by ramping up utilization capacity of our integrated rice mills.

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