Rice is one of the most consumed staples in Nigeria, with a consumption per capita of 32kg. In the past decade, consumption has increased almost four times the global consumption growth, and reached 6.4 million tonnes in 2017. As of 2011, rice accounted for 10% of household food spending, and 6.6% of total household spending. Given the importance of rice as a staple food in Nigeria, boosting its production has been accorded high priority by the government in the past 7 years. Significant progress has been recorded; rice production in Nigeria reached a peak of 3.7 million tonnes in 2017.
Despite this improvement, comparatively, Nigeria’s rice statistics suggest there is an enormous potential to raise productivity and increase production. Yields have remained at 2 tonne per hectare, which is about half of the average achieved in Asia. Also, as population increases, along with rural to urban migration, ensuring food security in key staples becomes critical. However, food security cannot be achieved by a system that depends almost entirely on human muscle power and other manual methods.
Global rice consumption remains strong, driven by both population and economic growth in Asia and Africa. Over the past two decades, rice demand increased at an annual average of 1.2% to reach 481.6 4 million tonnes in 2017. (PWC Nigeria).
Farmcenta has been involved in rice production and processing since February 2019 due to the increasing need for rice production. Their visit to kwakuti in Niger state in April instigated the aggregation of rural farmers to begin rice farming and production. Niger state produces the best quality of rice in Nigeria and is also the largest producer of rice in Nigeria. During their visit, they were able to meet with the Head of Rice Farmers in the area and they discussed how to increase their production capacity with our inputs, bring in our tractors to help prepare the land better for faster production.
They also met with other stakeholders like FADAMA which is in conjunction with World Bank to negotiate dry season rice farming and to bring in their irrigation system to power the rice farm. Fadama is defined as flood plains and lowland areas underlined by shallow aquifers and found along with Nigeria’s rivers system.
Since the amount of rice Farmcenta is producing is not enough to cover the demand chain of the off-takers, they decided to engage and aggregate rural farmers and this has led to increasing capacity yield and supply, they have been able to beat the target market demand and even exceed it and that is what gave birth to the Rice Paddy Trading where interested investors are welcomed to invest in rice production and processing and after the cycle ends in 6 months, they receive 20% of their investments.