A commercial rice farmer based in Enugu State has advised Nigerians against panic buying and hoarding of rice ahead of the Yuletide celebration.
The Manager of Excellent Integrated Farms Ltd, Mr. Ekene Uzodinma, who Monday made the claim in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu, added further that “Nigeria had abundant rice that could last for about two years.”
He explained that Uzodinma said that panic buying and hoarding would unnecessarily cause the price to rise.
According to him, “some Nigerians are already misled by social media messages that the border closure will lead to scarcity and high cost of rice. But that is a fallacy.
“It is a big lie because there is more rice, I mean local rice, that could take the country about two years to consume.
“You can see that a family that needed only a bag of rice is ordering for 10 or more bags at a time.
“There are other families that are cashing in on the situation and using the closure of the border to become rice merchants and hoarding the commodity in order to re-sell it during the Yuletide.
“However, if Nigerians just buy the product normally, there would be no price increase and the quantity of the commodity will always be sufficient for all.”
Uzodinma claimed further that merchants and middlemen had been busy going into the hinterlands with trailers, buying and transporting local produce to Lagos and other big cities.
The farmer, who said that the quality of Nigeria’s rice remains the best anywhere in the world, insisted that, “the taste of our rice is unique, the nutritional value is very high and it is very beautiful as well.
“We have the best quality because of the kind of soil texture in the country.”
Uzodinma called on the youths to take advantage of the recent development to maximise the opportunities and profits in the agricultural sector.
“I will also want youths in Enugu to take advantage and participate in the free-of-charge ‘One Youth, One Hectare’ of farmland project being organised by my NGO, The New Enugu Project,’’ he said.