The United States Department of Agriculture has hinted that Nigeria will become the world’s second-largest rice importer after China, as importation of the commodity is projected to experience 13 per cent jump next year to 3.4 million metric tons.
“China and Nigeria are projected to remain the largest rice importing countries in 2019, followed by the EU, Cote d’Ivoire, and Iran,” the USDA said in its latest Rice Outlook released Tuesday.
“Nigeria and Egypt are projected to account for the bulk of the 2019 import increase,” reports Bloomberg.
According to reports, the production of rice has experienced 50 per cent increase since 2012 to 3.7 million tons last year.
Domestic demand, however, rose 4 per cent to 6.7 million tons in the 2017-18 year that ended in May.
Naija News recalls that Mr. Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development had warned that Nigeria might experience shortage in the supply of the product due to the flood that ravage some farm lands in the country recently.
Current global production exceeds consumption by 2.3 million tons, according to USDA, with 2018-19 “global ending stocks” projected to reach 163 million tons, 17.8 million tons more than previously forecast.