An Ofada rice farmer and the Chief Executive Officer of Chileo Farms, Mrs Chinasa Asonye has decried the cost of rice production in the country.
Speaking to NaijaAgroNet at the 2013 forum organised by the Commercial Agricultural Development Project (CADP) under the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, in an exclusive interview, Mrs. Asonye noted that the cost of rice production posed a lot of challenges to the farmers in Lagos State, until the intervention of the CADP through the provision of equipment and other incentives.
She said at the event with theme ”Media and the challenges of food security in Nigeria” that despite farmers do not have enough land, CADP intervention to crop has helped to cut down cost to where it is now.
NaijaAgroNet gathered from her that the rice farmers produce once a year and gather all that they have to sell and after that they begin to look for where they can buy.
She called on government to intervene in the area of irrigation, fertilizer, equipment for winnowing the rice, planting the rice.
She explained that the Ofada rice farmers were packaging on their own which increased the cost, until CADP came with the intervention of sponsoring and packaging the rice for the farmers.
“There is nothing like one going into food business because without food you will not be able to satisfy everybody. People should venture in any business about food and agriculture no matter how small they produce; they must always sell to satisfy other people,” Chileo CEO explained.
She told NaijaAgroNet that her product and that of other Ofada rice producers are not in the market because they have limited market and says that they don’t have enough to get into the market, but only supply to people that want it.
“We are clamouring for more campaign so that the campaign for awareness by the media can work. We need more land for farming because it takes a lot especially this red rice that I specialise in producing. The red rice is the short and stunted, brownish in colour from Abeokuta. A lot of people like it, but its more expensive than the Agasa rice which is the long green rice. There are 270specie of Ofada rice so it depends on the one you want to specialise.
“I specialised in red rice and the CADP has helped us with land, winnowing machines and inputs like fertiliser, while we only provide the labour. The CADP intervention has helped, and that is why we can cut down cost. If we do everything by ourselves, consumes of the Ofada rice cannot buy it at N300. They will buy it at almost N800 per kilogramme, so we build in all these cost,” she said.
NaijaAgroNet was informed by Chinasa that her red packaged Ofada rice are in 500kg,1kg and 50kg in bags and the prices are N300 for 500kg, I kg is N600 respectively.
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