The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said this in Abuja yesterday while addressing members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.
According to him, more Nigerians have returned to their various farms and by the next harvesting season next month, the price of rice would start to crash.
Ogbeh who also stressed that his ministry would not encourage rice importation because it would be detrimental to local production said:
“We will not encourage rice importation and there is no way our ministry or government can be involved in importing rice when we are working hard to be self-sufficient in local production. By November when the full-scale harvest starts, rice prices will fall,” the minister said.Early last month, the government had warned that the price of rice might hit N40,000 a bag. It is currently being sold around N20,000.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, had said that the $22bn annual food import bill had led to the astronomical rise in the price of rice and other commodities.
He stressed that if Nigerians failed to produce some of the items being imported before December, the price of rice could skyrocket to N40,000 a bag.