Some rice farmers have appealed to the Federal Government to provide them with affordable loan facilities to boost production to reduce the price of the commodity as they described the closure as a welcome development.
Reports have it that the price of a 50kg bag of local rice, which sold for N14,000 before the closure of the country’s borders on Aug. 19, now goes for N22,000.
A Benue-based rice farmer, Mr Egio Boniface, said there was the need for government to provide loans to enable them to increase their productivity.
Boniface faulted government’s failure to carry rice farmers along before the border closure, adding that the increase in the price of the commodity should be expected.
“Before we can address the increase in the price of rice, farmers need to have prepared to boost their production through the cultivation of high-yield species.
“We are expecting that government will give us loans to secure inputs on time to produce high-yield rice to reduce the cost for the benefit of Nigerians.
“We need the help of the government to help the rice farmers to breakeven,” he said.
According to him, when farmers increase their production, the price of the commodity will fall.
Another farmer, Mr Adenekan Ayodele noted that rice farmers should be adequately supported by the government with affordable loans and other inputs.
“Farmers need to invest more in rice production to reduce the price of rice in the market.
According to him, the prices of other inputs in rice cultivation should be reduced to enable farmers to buy and increase their productivity.
Ayodele, however, appealed to rice marketers not to use the border closure to increase the price of the commodity arbitrarily.
Taraba-based farmer, Mrs Sumaiya Ahmadu said there was need to train farmers on the modern farming techniques to boost production and to reduce the price of rice in the market.
She advised youths to engage in farming, describing it as the way to go.