The demand for locally grown rice has increased among Nigerians especially in Ibadan, capital city of Oyo State as Christmas approaches. This is unsurprising as the cost ofIMPORTED rice has risen to between N22,000 and N26,000. An Ibadan resident Richard Nku had this to say: “It is cheaper, more affordable and even sweeter than foreign rice. So I cannot spend as much as N26, 000 just toBUY just a bag of rice simply because it is foreign. “In this Christmas, I am going for locally made rice and that is what my family and everybody in my house will eat until January.”
Raymond Ubi, who also resides in the Cross River capital, said: “I go for our own made rice, no matter what people think about it, I prefer it, in fact I like it more than the so called foreign rice.” Fidel Egoro who is one of those farming the rice in an interview with the press, had this to say: “We are under serious pressure to deliver on demand and that is why we cannot accept people paying us through banks.
“We do not have the time to go to the bank, so we preferCASH to save time; many people have placed orders for rice and we are trying to meet up before the close of the season.” There are also fears that with increased demand the price of the rice might actually go higher before Christmas. Egoro says: “One bushel of rice (equivalent of half bag) sells for N7,250, while two bushels (equivalent of one bag) sells for N14,500). “This may increase before the close of the season, depending on changes in cost of production.”