As Nigeria strives to achieve its goal of self food-sufficiency, Taraba State has swiftly joined the 18 highest producers of rice in the Country.
In the report titled “Mapping of rice production clusters in Nigeria,” GEMS4 revealed that 18 States were selected based on their contribution to national production as per the 2015 Agricultural Production Survey,APS.
The programme GEMS 4 embarked upon a mapping exercise of rice production clusters through researchers’ and enumerators’ visits to rice production locations.
The 18 States mapped were Taraba, Bauchi, Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, FCT, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Sokoto and Zamfara. These are States where rice farming widely spreads across 165 clusters and 2,812 sub clusters.
According to the report, the country’s total paddy rice production in 2016 was estimated to have climbed to 17,487,562 metric tons, leaving a balance of about 11.4 million metric tons after accounting for 12.4 per cent of rice production wasted due to post-harvest losses.
This left a total of 5.7 million metric tons of milled rice, bringing Nigeria’s rice production closer to the 7 million projected milled rice requirement for 2016.
Kebbi State was leading at 3.56 million metric tons for the wet and dry seasons production combined, followed by Kano at 2.82 million metric tons. Kebbi produced 2.05 million metric tons in the wet season and 1.51 million metric tons in the dry season while Kano produced 1.86 and 0.96 million metric tons during the wet and dry seasons respectively over the same period under review.
However, only 10 of the 18 states were involved in the dry season production, adding the 26.57 per cent of the total production.
The report also stated that 10 per cent of total arable land in Nigeria is used for rice cultivation and, although Nigeria is the largest producer of rice in West Africa, it is the second largest importer of rice globally.