Border closure: Rice dealers want loan, count gains

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Some rice farmers have appealed to the Nigerian government to provide them with affordable loan facilities for boosting production to reduce the price of the commodity as they described the closure as a welcome development.

The price of a 50kg bag of local rice, which sold for N14,000 before the closure of the country’s borders on Aug. 19, now goes for N22,000.

The farmers, who called for the loans in Abuja on Monday, noted that the current price of rice was too high.

A farmer, Mr. Adenekan Ayodele noted that rice farmers should be adequately supported by the government with affordable loans and other inputs.

According to him, the prices of other inputs in rice cultivation should be reduced to enable farmers to buy and increase their productivity.

Ayodele, however, appealed to rice marketers not to use the border closure to increase the price of the commodity arbitrarily.

Taraba-based farmer, Mrs Sumaiya Ahmadu said there was need to train farmers on the modern farming techniques to boost production and to reduce the price of rice in the market.

She advised youths to engage in farming, describing it as the way to go.

In Lafia, Mr Adamu Ibrahim, Nasarawa state Chairman of Rice Millers and Dealers Association of Nigeria (RIMDAN) said that the closure of the country’s border would boost production.

He said that Lafia that the development had heightened the demand for the local rice by consumers and price of the commodity had increased a little as a result of the high demand.

According to him, the action has boosted local production of the commodity and has seriously helped in employment generation.

He appealed for government’s support through soft loans to procure modern milling equipments that would enable them add value to their production to meet international standard.