BREAKING: Price Of Paddy Rice Reduces As Nigeria-Niger Border Opens

Rice millers in Nigeria are experiencing a significant relief in production costs and are passing these savings on to consumers following the reopening of the Nigeria-Niger land border....READ FULL ARTICLE

Industry sources confirm that the influx of cheaper paddy rice from neighboring countries has led to a substantial drop in prices over the past two months.

According to a recent market survey conducted by BusinessDay, the price of paddy rice has fallen by a third from ₦625,000 per metric ton in February to ₦425,000 in April.

This price reduction is a result of millers importing lower-cost paddies to sustain their operations, enhancing competition among local producers and importers.

This decrease in paddy prices has also translated into lower prices for locally-milled parboiled rice.

The cost of a 50kg bag of local parboiled rice has decreased by 12.5 percent, now selling for ₦70,000 compared to ₦80,000 two months prior.

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Furthermore, the price for a 50kg bag of foreign parboiled rice has also seen a significant reduction, dropping 17.5 percent with prices now ranging between N63,000 and ₦65,000, down from February’s range of ₦75,000 to ₦80,000.

The stronger naira has contributed to this decrease in foreign rice prices, making imports more affordable.

With the upcoming harvest season expected to begin in two months, industry insiders anticipate a further decline in rice prices, which could provide additional relief to consumers and bolster the domestic rice production industry.

The decline in rice prices is a welcome development for many Nigerians, as it directly impacts food security and affordability in Africa’s most populous nation.

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“Some mills that shut down production owing to the scarcity of paddy last year are now reopening as they can easily source paddy from neighbouring countries owing to the reopening of the Nigeria-Niger borders,”said Jonathan Joshua, chairman at African Rice Mill in Nasarawa said.

“We are expecting the prices of paddy to drop further when farmers commence harvesting in two months,”Joshua, who is also the national president of the Association of Small-Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria, said.

Nigeria, on March 13, 2024, reopened its land borders with Niger after seven months of sanctions on the country’s military junta, a move that revived the cross-border trade between both countries especially in agricultural products.

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“We get paddies from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger and they all come through our land borders with Niger,”said an industry source who did not want to be named.

According to the source, prices of rice jumped after the Nigerian government announced the sanction on Niger and scarcity of paddy rock mills as millers were unable to import or get enough locally for their factories.

He noted that the situation caused prices of paddy to surge, noting that the reopening has brought relief to the country’s struggling milling industry.

“If you observe the price trend, you will notice that the spike in rice prices started in September and October last year after the border with Niger was closed,”he added....READ FULL ARTICLE

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