Nigeria’s authorities seek to shutdown borders with an unnamed country’s border referring to the smuggling of what they describe as ‘’poisonous rice’’ into their country.
Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister Audu Ogbeh says poisonous materials and arsenic are among the substance present in imported rice from China and South East Asia into Africa.
The Minister who says he has knowledge in rice production stated that many Nigerians who prefer fine Thai rice believing they are sophisticated are consuming poisons which could cause cancer.
In South East Asia where they grow the rice , if you plant rice in the same place for four to six years continuously the quantum of arsenic begins to increase, he added;
Arsenic causes cancer and that is what they are dumping for us. Some people say they prefer Thai rice because they think are very sophisticated. Welcome to poison!”
As many as 21 of the 39 rice-producing countries in Africa import between 50% and 99% of their rice requirements, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
The Nigerian Agriculture Minister claimed in 2017 that Nigeria would become self-suficient in rice production by the end of the year , but local experts labeled this a “pipe dream’’.
Nigeria is among a number of countries seeking to increase local rice production.