Rice is one of the major staple foods in Nigeria, if not the most consumed.

However, the price has not been friendly since the nation slipped into recession in the second quarter of 2016.

The reason is basically because local production has not marched demand, so most retail shops depend on imported grains.

A 50kg bag of foreign rice is within 18,000 to 20,000 Naira, just the minimum wage equivalent.

But rice farmers and processors are hopeful the price of rice will come down soon.

The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) says it will reduce the price of locally produced rice from 18,000 Naira per 50kg bag to 6,000  Naira in the next few months.

Mr Aminu Goronyo is the National President of RIFAN and he sure has some information Nigerians will find useful.

At a meeting with Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN) and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, in Abuja on Wednesday, Goronyo said although RIFAN and RIPAN had agreed to fix the current price of 50 kg bag of rice at between 13,000 Naira and 13,500 Naira, the price would further crash to 6,000 Naira within the next few months.

However, there seems to be a clause to the expected crash of the price of a 50kg bag of local rice.

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'It will come down if there is bumper harvests and low cost of production,' Goronyo said.

Rice farmers are expectant of the Federal Government’s support to rice farmers and they believe that will lower cost of production.

“This is just the beginning. The actual price will still come down because we are expecting a bumper harvest this year; we have sat down with the millers and agreed that we will work together for the interest of Nigerians," he said.

The Chairman, Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RIPAN), Mohammed Abubakar, said the associations had entered into an agreement to slash the prices of both paddy and processed rice.

“We have agreed at 110,000 Naira per tonne of paddy.

“Before now, we were buying paddy at 140,000 Naira and 150,000 Naira per tonne.

 “If this agreement works, we hope to sell a bag of rice at 13,000 to 13,500, Naira depending on where you are in the country,’’ Abubakar said.

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On his part, Mr Ogbeh commended the associations for their decision to slash the price of locally produced rice, but  stressed that the biggest challenge facing rice farmers in the country was smuggling.

He said that the move would aid efforts to stamp out rice smuggling into the country.

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