As parts of its efforts to stop the huge amount wasted on the importation of rice, the Federal Government has said it will establish two rice mills in Ekiti State.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed this through a director in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the state, Mr. Dipo Kolade, at a workshop organised for rice farmers in collaboration with the state government.
Adesina said the state was blessed with good soil and climate conducive to growing rice, and urged the farmers to invest more in rice production and produce more to enable the planned mills operate at full capacities.
He said the Federal Government’s target was to ensure food security for the nation, stressing that it was high time the country stopped importation of low quality rice with huge amounts of money.
According to him, over N365billion is being wasted on importation of rice every year, adding that this huge amount of money would have boosted the nation’s economy had it been spent on capital projects.
The Minister called on people of the state to begin massive production of rice, while assuring them that there would be market for their produce.
The Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Babajide Arowosafe, said the purpose of the workshop was to teach the farmers modern techniques of rice production.
The Commissioner, who lauded the Federal Government’s agenda on agricultural transformation, said it would encourage massive food production and reduce the near total dependence on other countries for food.