The leadership of Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RMAN) has alerted Nigerians on the dangers of imported rice saying that many a times, imported rice were stored in silos for as many as 10 years.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Association in Kano, Tuesday, National President of the Association, Mr. Peter Dama, added that imported rice were preserved for these amount of time with chemicals which could be dangerous to human health.
The Association appealed the Federal Government to instruct NAFDAC to undertake periodic evaluation of imported rice while asking Nigerians to revert to the consumption of locally farmed rice, describing Nigerian rice as more nutritious and healthier
He, however, tasked local rice farmers in the country on the quality of their produce adding that up till date, Nigerians were still complaining about the quality of locally produced rice.
Alhaji Mohammed Munir Shehu Adamu, the State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Kano State, recalled that though the journey of the rice revolution in Nigeria begun in 2012 , it however has been enjoying an unprecedented impetus under the present Buhari administration.
He said that today, annual production of locally farmed rice had multiplied into several folds while investments in the sector were running in millions of Naira.
He disclosed that Nigeria had the potentials to produce over 15 million metric tones of rice annually adding that very soon and at the present pace, Nigeria would be producing rice for the whole of West Africa.
“There is no reason why Nigeria should be the biggest importers of rice in the globe when we can easily become the largest producers of rice” he stated.
The meeting was attended by members of the Association from across Nigeria, the Comptroller of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, among others.