In a bid to ensure surplus rice production for export, food security, and job creation, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has inaugurated the National Rice Development Strategy-II (2020-2030) and the Competitive African Rice Platform in the country.
According to the FGN, NRDS-II was developed following the successful implementation of the first phase of the NRDS-I, which took place between 2009 and 2019.
This was made known by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, while delivering a keynote address at the inauguration of the second phase of the rice development strategy in Abuja.
He explained further that the gains of the NRDS-I in 2020, contributed to the significant improvement of rice production in the country,
He added that the FGN was beginning to achieve its self-sufficiency target it set years ago.
“As a result of this success, NRDS-I was reviewed to give rise to the formulation of a new NRDS document in 2021,” he stated.
“This is the document that is being inaugurated today. The NRDS-II document is a 10-year plan which seeks to provide direction for the development of the rice subsector to achieve the government’s goals of self-sufficiency in rice production, food and nutrition security, employment creation and production of surplus for export.”
He said the document was adopted at the 4th National Council of Agriculture, which was held by all stakeholders, with support from the Competitive Africa Rice Platform.
Shehuri said, “CARP, formerly known as Sustainable Rice Platform, is dedicated to the productivity and sustainability of the rice industry with two main objectives, which are to ensure the competitiveness of Nigerian rice and sustainability of the Nigeria rice sector.
“The Competitive African Rice Platform-Nigeria is a multi-stakeholders platform set up to advocate policies and drive transformational changes in standard practices in the rice sector.”
Similarly, the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ernest Umakhihe, said the collaboration of the FMARD and other stakeholders and partners have started yielding positive results on the production of rice and processing in the country within the last ten years.