The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said on Thursday that at least six million people, mostly youths, have ventured into rice production following the impact of the border closure on the rice value chain.
The minister disclosed this when he led stakeholders in the rice production value chain to Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.
Mohammed, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono and other stakeholders in the indusry are on an assessment tour of the rice production value chain in Kano.
He said: "Before the drill, which some people have referred to as border closure, there were 12.2 million rice farmers in Nigeria, according to the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).
"The farmers were cultivating rice twice a year. Now, many rice farmers across the country have started three-times-a-year cultivation in order to meet the increasing demand.
"Not only that, at least six million people, mostly youths, are now venturing into rice production, meaning that we could hit 18 million rice farmers in no time if the present trend continues."
Mohammed said Nigeria's quest to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production would be hastened by the increasing activities in the rice production value chain brought about by the border drill.
He added that self-sufficiency in rice production would also translate to more jobs for millions of people as well as cheaper and more nutritious rice for all.
The minister added: "We can now tell you, without mincing words, that the border drill has impacted positively on rice production in the country." (NAN)