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14 Dec 2018

JUST IN: Scarcity of Rice hits Lagos markets

Scarcity of the Lagos-Kebbi States collaboration brand of local rice, popularly known as `LAKE Rice’, has hit the Lagos markets, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN correspondents’ visits to some of the major markets and distribution outlets within the state showed that there were no LAKE Rice on display or in stock for sale to consumers.

Some retail traders at major markets and distributors of the product told NAN that they had yet to restock after exhausting the stocks they had since September and October. One of the distributors, Augustina Nwanze, said she was still expecting new stocks which she had ordered for since October.

“I paid for new stocks of the product but unfortunately they had yet to be delivered. “Once l receive a phone call from Alausa to come and pick the products, l will go and pick them.

The delivery is usually on first come first serve, so l am waiting for my turn,” Nwanze said. Another distributor, Mrs Bimbo Ogun, said she ran out of stocks since early November.

“Since then, l have been waiting for new supplies from the state secretariat. The product (LAKE Rice) is not readily available like the foreign rice.

“The state government is still fine-tuning ways to flood the market with the product. “I have been telling my customers to be patience as the product will soon be available, especially since it is festive season,“ she said. Ogun explained that she sold the rice along with the other goods, saying that now that the product was not available, other goods had been sustaining her.

A senior member of staff in the state Ministry of Agriculture who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the product was not available now for sale to the public.

“There has been some logistics challenge which accounted for the delay and scarcity of the rice. However, the ministry is working hard to make sure that the product is available especially during the festive season. “For now, we are appealing to the distributors and customers to bear with us. ‘’A 50kg bag of LAKE Rice sells for N12, 000; 25 kg at N6,000; and 10kg goes for N3,000,’’ he said. Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the agriculture sector has significantly reduced the rate of employment in the country as over 12 million Nigerians have ventured into rice production in the last two years.

President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed this at the Fourth Nigeria Rice Investment Forum, Effective Linkage of Actor and Effort in the Value Chain for Sustained Self-Sufficiency in Rice Production, on Wednesday, November 21, in Abuja.

The president, who was represented by the minister of agriculture and rural development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said it was important to encourage more people into farming in order to attain self-sufficiency in rice production.

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