By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka—President of International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, has said that Nigeria has the potential to produce 10 million metric tons of rice annually if the required infrastructure was put in place.
Nwanze, during a visit to the rice processing clusters at Omor and Anaku rice producing areas in Anambra State, explained that the country currently produces three million metric tons of rice and consumes about six million metric tons, adding that with the prevailing ideal environment for rice production in many parts of the country, attaining the 10 million metric tons target would be met soon to make Nigeria a net exporter of rice.
According to him, the Country Programme Manager of IFAD, Dr. AtsukoToda, had expressed her determination to assist the country achieve the desired objective.
During the visit, Nwanze was presented with the vision of Anambra State Value Chain Development Programme for the rice processing clusters in the state by the state programme Coordinator of IFAD, Mr. Nnamdi Agwuncha.
Agwuncha said that the state Value Chain Programme was anchored on the Federal Government’s strategic vision for strengthening the agricultural sector in order to achieve food security, increase production, expand and improve rural economy for employment and income generation, as well as increase export and reduce food importation.
He said that participatory rural appraisal had already been conducted, adding that the constraints of the rice processing clusters had also been identified.