Enterprise Television – Ogun State Launches Ofada Rice
The Ogun State government launched its brand of Ofada rice, December 21st which is produced, processed and bagged in the state. Governor Ibikunle Amosun said the 50 kilogramme (kg) of the rice would be sold to the public at N11,500.
The state’s rice farm is located at the rice-friendly Egba land in Yewa South Local Government Area while the processing and packaging facilities are sited in Asero, Abeokuta, the state capital.
Also, Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele, Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Bagudu, Ogun State Deputy Governor Yetunde Onanuga, Amosun’s wife, Olufunso, traditional rulers and top government officials witnessed the launch of the rice, christened Mitros Rice.
He regretted that one of the biggest tragedies of the nation is its dependence on imported foodstuff to feed the population, despite the abundant arable land and labour force in the country.In his statement accordingly, this has exerted pressure on foreign reserves and the value of the naira with attendant outsourcing of agricultural work to foreign lands.
Amosun further said: “For us in Ogun State, we cannot afford to sit back and watch our people suffer unnecessarily due to food insecurity. The availability of food is synonymous with the survival of the society as a whole.
“Our past efforts at tackling poverty in all ramifications will amount to nothing if concerted efforts are not taken to ensure food security to people at all income levels. This is why today is a significant day, not just for Ogun State but for Nigeria as well.
“With this mill, they will not only benefit from high-quality processing of their output, but they will also enjoy guaranteed off-take.
“This not just about the inauguration of a new processing factory – and all its benefits: processing capacity, direct and indirect jobs, economic growth, and so on – it is also about the unveiling of a new narrative for Ofada rice.
“The new and improved Ofada rice, which this mill will produce, will not only feed our people but we are confident that it will generate foreign exchange for us as a nation.
“Indeed, today’s inauguration of our own home-grown rice specie, Mitros Rice in Ogun State, could not have come at a more auspicious time.
“For one, we are talking about ensuring food sufficiency and diversification of the economy from its overdependence on crude oil earnings.”
Emefiele hailed the state government for the rice production initiative.
Emefiele said the apex bank was ready to give credit facility to farmers at five per cent interest rate as part of Federal Government’s strategies to increase food production and ensure self-sustainability across the land.
He also noted that when farmers were assisted with credit facilities at one digit interest rate, Nigeria would be able provide food for the people, create jobs for the youths, conserve foreign exchange and grow the economy.He said: “A country that does not take agriculture seriously is naturally an unserious country. I am happy today that under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, we are taking agriculture very seriously. That is the reason we at the CBN have made it a responsibility to say we would continue to support any effort and anybody in an attempt to grow our agricultural sector.
“In doing this, we provide food for our people; in doing this, we provide jobs for our people; and in doing this, we grow our economy. For me, this goes a long way to conserve our foreign exchange.
“We would no longer be spending foreign exchange to import agricultural produce. We would eat what we produce; we would produce what we eat. Now, having supported so far what I call primary agriculture, the farmers would see to it that we grow rice and cassava. We do some of those primary agricultural practices.“The next stage: we would begin to consider how we process the food, how we harvest the rice, how we mill the rice.