Scarcity of Rice Looms in Kano Amid Paddy Tightrope

Rice sellers in Kano State have allay fears of possible shortage of rice product in the market as shortage of paddy rice continues in the state.

The Chairman Northern Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture, Alhaji Dalhatu Abubakar who doubles as the Chairman, Al-Hamsad Integrated Rice Mill spoke with journalist on Monday, saying minners in the state have continued to have a tough time with the challenge already.

He noted that the shortage will cause the shortage of finshed rice in the market which will inturn give rise to the activities of smullgullers.

Abubakar who spoke about the impact of shortage, said factory workers have started a lesser time of production with activities now trimmed to 12 hours instead of 24 hours.

This, he said, has also resulted to laying off of staff which will further create unemployment.

“Today hundreds of millers both the integrated and small scale are in serious dilemma and finding it extremely difficult to break even. It is difficult to sustain production now because of scarcity of paddy.

“As I speak, I know many millers that have completely closed their factories,” he said.

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While giving further insight to the crisis, he noted that “those that are yet to close because they still have limited paddy in their reserve cannot operate 24 hours. Like me, I have reduced my production to 12 hours because I don’t have paddy. By implication, several workers will be rendered jobless.”

According to Abubakar, rice paddy which was initially bought N330,000 per tonne in June is now sold at N400,000.

He further said the price of fuel and electricity contributed to the challenge facing the business.

“Whereever you see paddy now, you buy it at exorbitant prize and you will still be compelled to face high cost of Fuel, pay tax, electricity bill etc. How many factory would survive this hard economy. The only hard way now is, the cost of finished rice which Nigerians will soon face,” he said.

He feared that the scarcity may increase the cost of locally produced rice and, if permitted, would boost demand for imported rice, undermining the Federal Government’s eight-year relative success in securing domestic rice supplies.

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