Nigeria has overtaken Egypt as the largest rice producer in Africa, Dr Harold Roy-Macauley, Director-General, Africa Rice Center, Benin Republic, revealed.
Roy-Macauley said that Nigeria now produces 4 million tonnes a year. Egypt was producing 4.3 tonnes annually but production has reduced by almost 40% this year due to the government’s decision to limit cultivation to preserve water resources.
Egypt rice cultivation requires about 1.8 billion metres of water in evaporation, transpiration and irrigation each year. Africa produces an average of 14.6 million tonnes of rough rice annually.
Roy-Macauley noted that there were efforts to increase overall rice production in Africa but expressed doubts that it will curb rice importation as population has increased across the continent.