The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has said that the price of a bag of rice could be as high as N40,000 by December if Nigeria failed to start producing the product rather than import.
Lokpobiri made the pronouncement at the weekend during a town hall meeting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
He said, “For your information, we spend about $22bn a year importing food into Nigeria. We know how many more dollars they bought and that is why you see the price of rice going up.
“Rice matures in three months. So, this is a wake up call for Bayelsa people to take the four farms we have seriously. The federal government has four farms in the state in our records.
“The average land you see in Bayelsa can grow rice, so the colonial masters were not wrong in their assessment when they said Niger Delta could feed not only Nigerian but also the entire West Africa sub-region.
“Unfortunately, agriculture till today, is not a priority of the Niger Delta as far as the state governments are concerned because of oil.”