The Policy Adviser of the John Kufuor Foundation (JKF), Hon. Abraham Dwuma, on Tuesday expressed the belief that rice importation into the country would end by 2020.
Dwuma said in Ilorin that the Africa Rice Advocacy Platform (ARAP) under the JKF had created a rice value chain to achieve this.
He said the purpose of the platform was for Africa to achieve zero importation of rice.
”Two years from now, Nigeria should have no business importing rice because I have travelled the length and breadth of the country and I know the potentials.
”Kebbi State alone can produce all the rice Nigeria needs; talk more of Sokoto and even Kwara.
“‘For, example, in Akwa Ibom, they have one of the best lands for rice production.
”When we came to Nigeria, farmers were doing 1.5 tonnes per hectare, now they are doing six tonnes per hectare two times in a year.
”We believe that with this platform, we will get there,” Dwuma said.
He said the foundation was borne out of the desire of former Ghanaian President, John Kufuor, to ensure that African farmers earn a living from rice production.
”When Kufuor won the World Food Prize, he said he realised that African farmers need a voice, then, if they need a voice, we have to bring them together.
”So, there was a need to do what we call the advocacy platform in four chosen countries; Ghana, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Nigeria.
”Through this platform, we are not only talking to the government but to the farmers to improve their quality, their quantity and their work,” Dwuma said.
He, however, noted that for the value chain to be sustainable, it should be supported by business modules.
”What we are doing now is that we are creating the rice value chain and for this value chain to be sustainable, we need to be supported by business modules at all levels of the cabin.
”We are creating what we call business modules. For instance, if someone is an input dealer, he will be able to bring the right input to farmers and the farmers are being educated to do it well,” he said.