The rice value chain in Nigeria faces several challenges, ranging from insufficient incentives for local producers and an inability to compete with higher quality imported rice, through to inadequate regulatory and policy frameworks, which, if improved, would stimulate the growth of the sector.
Kano is the main. centre for rice processing in Nigeria. As a major rice hub with the largest grain market – not only in Nigeria but also in the whole West African sub-region – the potential of Kano’s Dawanau market cannot be underestimated.
Despite this importance, rice stakeholders in Kano have historically had no platform to engage with the government on policy, or with their fellow stakeholders.
The need for public private engagement becomes more critical with the development of a rice policy in which the Kano state government has shown strong commitment. It was obvious that such a platform was vital to increase much needed private sector investment in the rice industry.
Thus, PrOpCom facilitated a rice stakeholders meeting in Kano to create such a platform – the Kano Rice Business Group (KRBG) – for r stakeholders to share their concerns amongst themselves and with the government.
The KRBG is a platform – for sharing information, networking t and advocacy on critical issues that t affect the sector. The group includes j private sector stakeholders from the rice industry, including women parboilers, ) rice farmers, financial institutions, rice r millers, agro-input suppliers and agroequipment fabricators.
The objective of the group is to advocate and guide government activities in order to create a suitable business environment for its stakeholders.
Stakeholders who showed interest in the idea held an initial meeting to set the objectives of the rice network. They agreed that the group will lead advocacy campaigns and conduct sensitisation programmes.
In addition, it will lobby the government, private sector organisations and relevant stakeholders to provide an enabling environment to stimulate economic growth, job creation and the formulation of a framework for a market-led rice sector in the country.
Plans to build the capacity of the stakeholders for advocacy roles are currently under way. The Kano State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KNARDA) has promised to support the KRBG’s growth into a viable network within the rice sector. KRBG also has the endorsement of the Abuja Securities and Commodity Exchange (ASCE), a government regulatory body on commodity trading, which provides a secretariat for the association in its Kano branch office.