In an effort to boost productivity and point the rice industry in the right direction, the federal government has launched the National Rice Development Strategy (NRDS) II. Speaking at the launch of the NRDS II and the Competitive Africa Rice platform (CARP) SRP- Nigeria, Hon. Mustapha Shehuri, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, stated that the document was incorporated by all of the stakeholders with assistance from the Competitive Africa Rice Platform at the 4th National Council of Agriculture (NCA) in 2021.
The document, according to the minister, is a 10-year strategy that will assist the government in accomplishing its objectives of self-sufficiency in the production of rice, food and nutrition security, job creation, and surplus production for that will encourage more exportation. He assured the public that the government was still fully dedicated to expanding the country’s agricultural sector to the full extent of its capabilities so that the country’s massive population could enjoy greater food and nutritional stability.
High import bills will be tackled when productivity increases.
Furthermore, the rice value chain has been discovered as a strategical instrument for achieving these aspirational goals, the minister said, adding that the Rice Transformation Agenda was developed using the NRDS I as part of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda and Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP), which acted as an ignition for the country’s rice revolution. He added that the initiative’s implementation kicked off with the introduction of a value chain system, which represented a comprehensive strategy for remaking Nigeria’s rice industry. The government can now facilitate the entire rice value chain, from cultivation to processing to distribution.
In 2011, the federal government implemented a private sector-driven agricultural approach to tackling the country’s massive import bill by increasing paddy production, enhancing product quality, and encouraging the consumption of locally grown rice. As a result of this, Shehuri disclosed that the national paddy production had increased significantly, bringing the nation closer to its goal of achieving rice independence in 2020. At the same time, the NRD I was being reviewed, which would eventually lead to the creation of a new NRDS document in 2021.
The CARP will promote policies and proper practices in the rice industry.
Shehuri stated that the document guarantees the continued competitiveness of the country’s rice and the self-sufficiency of the rice sector; CARP, formerly known as the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), is committed to the yields and stability of the industry. A multi-stakeholder platform called CARP (SRP)-Nigeria was established to promote policies and push for fundamental modifications to accepted practices in the rice industry. Towards this end, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has established a Board of Trustees (BoT) for the CARP, which has made that department it’s home for purposes of active cooperation and production management.
Moreover, the minister, on the other hand, urged all of the key stakeholders to put into action the extremely significant document as well as CARP (SRP)-Nigeria, which will be in the best interests of the nation. During the process of launching both documents, the minister stated that the federal government would be delighted to enter into additional partnerships as well as requested passionate dedication from all parties involved with the implementation of the plan.
Much progress has been recorded from the previous initiative.
Lastly, he noted that the previous document had led to many positive outcomes, such as the establishment of a national database of farmers, the improvement of the seed production and development system, the acceleration of R&D efforts that resulted in the creation of rice varieties that are more resistant to environmental impacts, the fortification of seed companies so that they can produce high-quality seeds, and the improvement of agricultural insurance through the creation of the Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing on Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), also the implementation of the zero percent import duty and tariff on agricultural equipment and others.
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