Rice is one of the leading food crops in the world and the most consumed staple food in Nigeria. It is one of the oldest cereal which is believed to have been cultivated for at least 5000 years ago. It is one meal with a very high increase in demand daily by individuals regardless of their culture, gender or status in the society.
Statistics show that Nigeria is one of the largest consumer and producer of rice in West Africa sub-region producing over 3.7 million tons of milled rice on the average annually which has led to the drastic reduction of annual imports from 4.5 million tons to 800,000 metric tons. This has made Nigeria the second largest producer of the grain in Africa after Egypt and listed among the top sixteen producers of rice in the world with her local production valued at N684 billion ($1.9 billion).
What an amazing report!
To cultivate rice, the type of land, soil properties, geographical and ecological factors available should be put into consideration as not all the varieties of rice can do well in every geographical zone. However, it is advisable to always go for the high-quality seeds which can produce a bountiful harvest of rice with same seed size and improved germination by 50% at harvest time.
Rice is best grown in lands with moderately high water holding-capacity or simply put, swampy lands. Heavy and muddy soils that can hold water are most desirable. It is best to prepare the lands for rice farming during the dry season before it begins to rain to avoid anything that could hinder the growth, quality or quantity of rice that should be harvested.
The planting season for rice is mid-March to Mid April and it takes an average of 3-4 months before harvest. There are a lot of processes involved in the cultivation of rice from planting to consumption. These include seed selection, land preparation, planting, crop management amongst others.
The major varieties of rice grown in Nigeria includes:
- Fadama rice
- Ofada Rice
- Faro 44
- Upland rice
- Lowland rice
Economic Importance Of Rice Farming In Nigeria
- There is a continuous increase in the demand and supply of rice daily in Nigeria. This is a perfect investment opportunity for farmers thinking of the best crop to grow in this season and everyone considering starting up a farm or sponsoring one. Yes, you can sponsor a farm with us. We are launching our rice farm soon. Be the first to sponsor a rice farm with farmcrowdy by clicking here.
- Foreign Exchange Earnings: If there is increased production of rice in Nigeria for domestic consumption and exports, the country is sure to earn more than enough to develop its economy.
- Rice is a major source of carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins which provides energy for the body.
- This cereal can be made into a lot of amazing and delicious dishes such as Fried rice and Jollof Rice which is commonly served in most events in Africa (remember Nigeria vs Ghana Jollof Rice war..lol). This cereal can also be cooked and mashed into Tuwo Shinkafa (rice fufu) which is a popular meal by the Northerners.
- Interestingly, rice can be made into very interesting healthy snacks such as Fried stuffed rice balls, Rice Krispies, Rice pancakes, rice cakes, Puffed Rice. etc. This is very healthy for both children and adults.
- Rice is also used to produce starch which can be used for industrial purposes.
- Rice has got some amazing health benefits which explains why it is an important staple food in many diets around the world. Some of the health benefits of rice include:
- A great source of energy.
- Contains Fiber which helps to protect against cancer.
- Helps to stabilize blood sugar levels
- Improves Metabolism
- Helps to fight against dysentery and heart-related diseases
- Aids in Skincare.
- Helps to regulate bowel movements
- Rice helps to control blood pressure.
- A Stiffener For Clothes: This is one interesting but rare uses of rice. Here, the starch serves as a stiffener for washed clothes. The clothes are soaked in rice starch for a couple of hours and then dried. This is most practiced in India though.
Our rice farming units will be launching in April. Would you like to empower a farmer by sponsoring one of our rice farms in Nigeria? Click here so you will be the first to know when they are available for sponsorship.