According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Nigeria will be the world’s second largest rice buyer in 2019, while China would be the largest.
In its Rice Outlook released on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, the department said:
“On an annual basis, consumption and residual use is projected higher in 2018/19 in Angola, Benin, Burkina-Faso, Cambodia, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam”.
“China and Nigeria are projected to remain the largest rice importing countries in 2019, followed by the EU, Cote d’Ivoire, and Iran.
“Nigeria and Egypt are projected to account for the bulk of the 2019 import increase. Imports in 2019 are also projected to be larger than a year earlier for Benin, Burkina, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, EU, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Malaysia, Mali, Senegal, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
“Global rice consumption (including a residual component) in 2018/19 is projected at a record 488.4 million tons, down 0.1 million tons from the previous forecast but up more than 1 percent from a year earlier”.
Nigeria’s minister of agriculture and rural development, Audu Ogbeh, had earlier warned that the country may experience rice shortage if appropriate measures are not taken to replant after the recent flood.
States like Jigawa, Kebbi, Anambra and Kogi had experienced floods that resulted in farming losses.
The President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had said it would end dependence on imported rice and the Central Bank of Nigeria supported the move by restricting forex for rice importation and the Anchor Borrowers Programme.
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