Agric Commissioner unveils why rice price rises in Ebonyi



The Ebonyi Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, has said inflation affects the price of every commodity in the state and beyond.

NATIONAL PANEL gathered that a bag of locally-produced rice (50kg) which hitherto sold for between N10,000 and N14,000 depending on the brand, is presently being at the rate of N15,000 to N20,000.

Chief Nome unveiled this Friday in Abakaliki, during the state’s ministerial presentation of scorecards by the selected commissioners in the state Executive Council.

Responding to a question related to the high cost of rice in Ebonyi since the state has being one of the foremost rice-producing states coupled with the government’s huge investment in the commodity, the commissioner said:

“The inflation affects all commodities in the market and what we are producing is not to make our products cheap.

“We are producing so that there will be the availability of the product and if any man who produces cars, for instance, introduces a new price, we will introduce a new price.

“This is because our children go to the same school. But we are assuring that there is the availability of rice and other produce in Ebony."

 He added that the state produces rice at an optimal level but the demands for the product  are also very high.

“I received a call on Sept. 30, that people in Lagos are demanding for 900,000 bags of rice from our various mills and as the demand increases, so also will the price,” he said.

The commissioner equally explained that the state government has revamped the ‘abandoned’ Ezillo rice farm which generates N5 billion annually through rice production.

According to him; “The Ebonyi rice used to produce 315 metric tons yearly, but presently produces 1.3 million metric tons yearly and we earnestly believe that we have touched lives especially through rice production,” he said.
He announced that the state fertilizer blending plant which used to produce 15 metric tons of fertilizer daily presently produces 40 metric tons daily.

“This means that we have the ability to supply the product to states in the entire southeast and South-South geo-political zones, including states in the North Central zone.

“The state government through its agricultural mechanization policy purchased 40 tractors in 2016 and the tractors have been duly deployed to all parts of the state to enhance agricultural production.

“The state has the biggest mushroom farm in the country and we still produce for the whole southeast, South-South, and North Central."

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