Authorities in Nigeria is to shut down the land border between Nigeria and an unnamed neigbouring country in a few days time to avoid smuggling of foreign rice into the country.
“Poisonous materials” and “arsenic” are among the substances Nigeria’s agricultural minister Audu Ogbeh claims are present in rice imported from China and South East Asia into Africa.
Many Nigerians prefer Thai rice for the believe it’s sophisticated.
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 and Arsenic is said to cause cancer.
He further endorsed this move necessary in order to encourage local production and sustain the economy of the country.
Though Nigerian authorities have not yet disclosed which neighbouring country the smuggled rice is coming from. Nigeria shares borders with Niger, Chad, Benin and Cameroon.
The agriculture minister claimed in 2017 that Nigeria would become self-sufficient in rice production by the end of the year.
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.