Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday said that Nigerians would soon start seeing the manifestation of some of the reforms taken by the Federal Government in the agricultural sector as the country would soon start producing local rice that would compete favourably with any brand in the world.
Osinbajo said this in Abuja during an interactive session with some middle level civil and public servants on the ease of doing business.
He called on Nigerians to increase their patronage of products manufactured locally, adding that this would enable the government to reduce the level of unemployment in the country.
Citing the example of rice production, he said that Nigeria has enough capacity to grow quality rice that would meet the demands of not only Nigerians but all the countries in Africa.
He said if Nigerians can consume what the country produces locally, the twin problems of poverty and unemployment would be easily addressed.
He said it was worrisome that rice imported from China, India and Thailand are sold at a cheaper prices to those produced locally, adding that this was as a result of subsidy enjoyed by farmers from these countries.
He said the government was mindful of this development and would do everything within its powers to encourage local farmers to improve the output and quality of local price.
Osinbajo said, “It is worrisome that locally produced rice is still expensive than imported rice from India, China and Thailand.
“Rice produced in these countries, are subsidized by their respective governments making rice from the region cheap and affordable.
“By subsiding rice production for farmers, more jobs are created. We are planning to introduce some kinds of assistance to our farmers in due course. Our rice will have to compete with any rice in the world. We will hold meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture every day”, Acting president said.