There are indications that the price of local rice may go up in Rivers State as rice farmers lament the high cost of production.
This is coming in a few weeks to the yuletide.
The Rivers State Chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Akandu Godwin, who gave the indication in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, lamented over alleged neglect of rice farmers by the government.
He decried the lack of mechanized equipment for rice farming which has made rice production very difficult.
According to him, “Rice farmers’ major constraint is lack of support from the government. You know that in Rivers state we have a lot of virgin lands and to start cultivating on these lands we need heavy equipment like Caterpillar and Bulldozer.
“We also need tractors because we are now talking about commercialisation of agriculture not peasant farming but one of the challenges is that you hardly see these tractors.”
Asked whether the constraint may affect the cost of rice, Akandu replied “it will, take for example, when people have hectares of land and you want them to go on with manual labour, it will not be easy and they may not give you enough of what you expect”.
Also speaking, the state Chairman of Rice Millers Association Oshimini Micheal explained that they go as far Bayelsa and Ebonyi States to mill their products which increases cost.”