Chairman, Rice Millers Association of Nigeria (RMAN) Plateau State chapter, Mr Peter Dama has attributed the high cost of rice in the market to the scarcity of raw paddy rice which is not readily available for the millers to purchase.
Dama made the disclosure in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP in Jos. He said paddy rice is not enough to go round and the little the millers get is very expensive. He said in the North Central a 120kg of paddy rice which hitherto sells for N12,000 is currently being sold to the millers for over N30,000.
“So, you find out that the cost of purchasing the paddy rice itself is high. You don’t produce because you just want to produce but you produce because at least you want to make a little profit,” he said.
He noted that rice is eaten in every household and has become a stable food not only in Nigeria but the world at large. He observed that the population increase has also affected the demand for rice.
Dama further stressed that rice has now become a popular food in any occasion and that this development has led to increase in its demand in Nigeria.
Dama also disclosed that apart from unavailability of paddy rice, insecurity has affected the production of rice by farmers. He said that rice farmers are not secured on their farms and as a result of that they are afraid to go to the farm to produce.