Rice is an increasingly important crop in Nigeria. It is relatively easy to produce and is grown for sale and for home consumption. In some areas there is a long tradition of rice growing, but for many, rice has been considered a luxury food for special occasions only. With the increased availability of rice, it has become part of the everyday diet of many in Nigeria.
There are many varieties of rice grown in Nigeria. Some of these are considered ‘traditional’ varieties, others have been introduced within the last twenty years. Rice is grown in paddies or on upland fields, depending on the requirements of the particular variety; there is limited mangrove cultivation. New varieties are produced and disseminated by research institutes, or are imported from Asia.
The spread of these strains is determined by their perceived success, and farmers multiply seed for their own plots when they see a variety doing well in someone else’s field, or if a variety is fetching a good price in the market.
It seems also that strong political factors affect the dissemination of varieties; the most striking example of this is a rice called “China”, imported to Nigeria around twenty years ago by a political figure and now grown everywhere despite the fact that seed trials carried out by NCRI declared it unsatisfactory.
RICE Producing State in Nigeria
Below is a list of rice producing states in Nigeria below;
1. Kano State
2. Gombe State
3. Niger State
4. Kebbi State
5. Ebonyi State
6. Anambra State
7. Nasarawa State
8. Ogun State
9. Ekiti State
10. Edo state
11. Osun State
12. Lagos State
The Lagos rice farm is located in Kebbi. The term LAKE in “lake rice” is a shortened form of LA gos-KE bbi. It features lagos brain/equipment and kebbi hands/land.
Challenges of Rice Production in Nigeria
Below are some of the Challenges in the rice processing industry
• Poor quality and insufficient paddy rice
• Equipment constraint and use of outdated milling technology.
• Product quality constraints(Branding)
• Poor marketing infrastructure.
• Financial Constraint
• Inconsistent government policy on rice import
• Lack of well trained machine operators and committed staff.
• Interference of politics on Agriculture
• Nigeria is a huge market for milled rice and this creates and inexhaustible market for the locally milled rice.
• The exchange rate of the USD to Naira provides for a health competition between imported rice and local rice.
• Estimated consumption of rice in Nigeria is 8million MT and local production is only 6 million MT. The deficiency of the 2 million MT is a huge market for the rice processors.