Mr Dipo Onaeko, a rice processor and Chief Executive Officer, Difemis Ventures, on Wednesday said that the demand for locally grown rice, popularly known as “Ofada’ rice, had outweighed the supply nationwide.
Onaeko disclosed in Lagos that the development necessitated the need for rice farmers and distributors to look for credit facilities to expand production.
Local rice is now preferred by Nigerians because of its unique taste and certified health benefits.
“Another challenge that comes with it is financing. You need to buy rice from the farm, and you need to sell to end-users.
“The farmers, probably because they are not as educated as we are, want their money paid immediately.
“Say if I buy 50kg worth of rice from the farmer today, I cannot guarantee that the end-user or consumer will buy the entire 50kg in that day; it would probably take a week.
“In between all of this timeline, there is money that is being held back, so sometimes, one of the challenges we the manufacturers and the distributors have is credit facility.
“Because again, the demand is huge, but another thing is, we need to have the money to cover the credit window.
“Then, another one that we look up is sowing and harvest, because the same rice that is sold is also sown back into the soil.
“So, when it comes to sowing period, farmers are reluctant to sell, at that point in time, you realise that the supply has dropped, and so, we are competing with how much the little you have, to the large population you have. ‘’
Source:: PM Newspaper