Nigeria can only attain self sufficiency in food, especially rice production, if the right policies and investments are made in the right quarters.
This was the view of KPMG Nigeria at the launch of its annual Agribusiness report titled “Rice Industry Review,” in Lagos recently.
Speaking with newsmen, Partner, Deal Advisory, KPMG Nigeria, Ijeoma Emezie-Ezigbo, noted that there has been a gap in consumption of rice and production of rice, while adding that local production as well as capacity has continued to increase.
“We have found out that though the volume of rice produced in Nigeria is increasing, the price is also increasing and so, the price has not come down because we are scaling up our production. There is a lot of investment going into achieving that local capacity, which means people who are putting money into these investments have to recoup the return on investments (ROI).
“If we want to continue to accelerate our local capacity, we then have to deal with substandard imports or we will have to be able to ensure that the people who are making those investments locally have a way of recouping their ROI”, she explained.
According to her, the government is not closing the borders in isolation and if banks are able to increase lending to the productive sector, hopefully, the cost of lending to the companies who invest in equipment and production would come down.
“We hope that the increase in investment will accelerate production in that sector and drive pricing down. Because at the end of the day, what controls pricing is demand and supply. if we have the right investment going into that sector, the demand will increase, the supply will be stable and then pricing will come down. We do not know how long the border will stay closed but one thing is certain, there has to be right policies to achieve or attain self sufficiency.”
In his welcome address, Partner and Head, Consumer and Industrial Markets (CIM), KPMG Nigeria, Goodluck Obi, noted that agriculture has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy, contributing about 25 per cent to the country’s GDP in recent times.