Kano residents are worried about food insecurity due to the shortage of paddy rice, which is converted into finished rice and currently costs N40,000 per bag.
Prior to the shortage, rice in Kano was available for less than N30,000. However, investigations by our correspondent reveal that in some regions, the product even sells for as much as N42,000 per bag.
To match the huge demand, Kano rice millers who initially paid N330,000 for a tonne of paddy in June now pay N400,000 for the same amount.
The Federal Government has seen considerable success in local rice production over the past eight years, but it is believed that the rise in the price of local rice may result in a desire for foreign rice.
Alh. Dalhatu Abubakar, chairman of the Northern Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, disclosed the nasty trend is already having an impact on millers’ production in the state while speaking with journalists about it over the weekend.
Abubakar, who is also the Chairman of Al-Hamsad Integrated Rice Mill, bemoaned the consequences of the paddy shortage, which would include, among other things, a rise in rice prices and smugglers’ operations.
He emphasized that a number of millers had decreased their output from 24 to 12 hours while also terminating manufacturing workers. In order to facilitate year-round production, he urged for government assistance with mechanization and providing the farmers the necessary input.
“Today, hundreds of millers—both large and small—are facing a terrible conundrum and are struggling mightily to make ends meet. Due to the current paddy shortage, output is very challenging to maintain. I am aware of numerous millers that have shut down their factories entirely.
“And those that haven’t closed yet can’t work around the clock since they only have a limited amount of paddy in reserve. Due to the lack of paddy, I, too, have lowered my output to 12 hours per day. It follows that some workers will lose their jobs.
“Anywhere you see paddy right now, you buy it for an astronomical amount, and you’ll still have to deal with the high cost of petrol, pay taxes, and pay your energy bill. How many factories would make it through this tough economy? The only difficult way today, according to Abubakar, is the price of completed rice, which Nigerians must soon pay.
With an annual production of roughly 8,435,000 tonnes, Nigeria is currently Africa’s top rice producer, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Egypt, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Mali are the next five countries in production order.