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Rice dealers want govt to reconsider ban
As the proposed ban on rice come January 2006 draws near, Rice Dealers Association of Nigeria (RIDA) has once again called on government to reconsider its stand as the ban will not augur well with Nigerian consumers.

Briefing newsmen after a visit the Minister of Agriculture and some officials of the ministry on the proposed ban on rice recently, Mr. Ademola Majekodunmi, Chairman of the association said that the association would welcome a complete ban on rice if there is sufficient quantity and quality in Nigeria.

According to the chairman, "it is important to consider the effect of the ban on the consuming masses that depend on rice as a means of survival".

He stated that the ban would have had effect if local producers had enough rice to sell to Nigerians, "but the much acclaimed local production is not available in the market. In some quarters people go about telling the government of the availability of locally produced rice in the country". We cannot sit down and watch our people perish with hunger, we known that 99 per cent of Nigerians particularly children depend on rice as one of most present staples on the tables of Nigerians".

In a statement, the association claimed "the only local rice called Ofada is not only elitist in terms of price and consumption, it is not in large quantity, hence the price is on the high side.

It further stated "it is a known fact that the imported rice are far cheaper than the availably acclaimed local rice by some producers".

The statement said that the association is sure that with the understanding nature of the government it would not ban what is not readily available in the country, otherwise the ban on rice will lead to food crises in the country, the statement also assured that government will not be reckless at rushing to place ban on rice.

According to the chairman statistics available show that Nigeria cannot afford the total tons of rice consumed by Nigerians as allegedly claimed in some quarters (local producers).

He noted that local rice available are on subsisting level and cannot fill the gap that would be left behind after the ban on imported rice is made by government.

In the same vein, the association also explained that dangers of banning imported rice will spell a grievous calamity for the nation if the government goes ahead with the proposed plan.
MGR Archive 21.8.2005
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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