The Prospects & Challenges Of Rice Farming In Nigeria
Rice remains one of the foods with very high demand rate in the country and the reason for this is not farfetched, it is a staple food that is consumed in very large quantities and the star of every celebration or occasion in the country.
In addition rice is also the favorite among farmers because the issue is not about if they can get enough patronage but how much they can produce because like we said earlier, rice has a very high demand.
It is a fact that the supply of rice by the local farmers does not even match the demand and that is why people resorted to the importation of rice.
Before this present administration, rice was imported in very large quantities into the country and a lot of money was spent on the daily importation of rice into the country.
The government in a bid to stop the spending of huge sums of money on the importation of rice that can be produced in the country as well as the adverse effects of that on the economic growth of the country banned the importation of rice.
The responsibility now fell on the local farmers to increase their production rate so as to meet the need of the country.
SEE – Rice Depot In Lagos
Of course they were not left to handle this alone, the federal government promised to be with them all the way and to assist them in any way they can.
We will be examining the different reasons why most farmers who are into rice farming have remained at a subsistence level and the ways that can be turned around so that they can improve and start producing rice at commercial quantities.
One of the challenges facing rice farming in the country is the issue of land tenure and development. This makes it difficult for people who would make good use of arable lands for the cultivation of rice to have access to them.
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Another major challenge facing rice farming in the country is the case of illiteracy among local farmers.
A lot of these farmers are not literate and are not aware of advanced ways of rice cultivation. They know little or nothing about mechanized farming, therefore they do not get the advantages or the benefits they could have easily had if they were into mechanized farming.
This is a major reason why most of them have remained at the level of subsistence farming, working so hard and making little to no profit.
The nature of the crop in discussion is one that could also lead to it not being produced in large quantities if not handled properly and with great care.
Rice can easily be attacked by pests and diseases so unless that is properly taken care of, the farmland will just turn out a low yield.
Rice farming especially at a commercial level can be really costly. The process of getting premium variety seeds, quality fertilizers and other normal agrochemicals costs a lot and scares local farmers away from going into the commercial level. They would rather remain at the subsistence level where they will not have to spend so much.
SEE THIS – Rice Depot In Abuja
The soil that the crop is planted in should be well taken care of as much as the crop itself. Some farmers get carried away with taking proper care of the crop that the forget that the soil is just as important and if neglected, then there would be a very poor yield.
It gets so bad that some lands even gets so damaged that they cannot be used for rice cultivation again unless they are properly treated.
Some farmers actually have wonderful ideas on how to increase rice yield but their ideas are not actualized because of lack of funds and inability to access loans with low interest rates.
This is one of the areas where the government is really trying its best to ensure that farmers have access to loans with low interest rates so that all their ideas and plans can leave the drawing board and become a reality.
Lack of good roads is a problem that has plagued the country for a very long time and the government has over time being trying to solve this problem.
Nevertheless this issue of bad roads especially in the rural areas makes it very difficult for the farmers to transport their products to the towns and markets.
This is a major challenge to the availability and affordability of rice and should be carefully looked into and handled by the government.
More so things are always evolving and research is always carried out to find out easier and better ways to handle thing.
The issue of rice cultivation is not left out, there is little to no rapport between research institutes and farmers. The farmers do not know about the scientific breakthroughs first hand and it takes time before they become aware of it.
We have been discussing the challenges but the good news is that there are ways to handle them and improve rice cultivation and distribution in the country.
The government is already doing a lot by providing local farmers with grants and loans with low interest rate.
They have also been sensitizing the populace on the need to patronize locally produced rice, any many more policies to encourage farmers to improve on rice cultivation and to convince those of them that are still in doubt to join in the good work.
VISIT – Rice Depot In Nigeria