Rice Production in Nigeria 2019/2020 – Steps to Make Money from it

In this post, we are going to discuss in detail rice production in Nigeria 2019/2020. We hope you find this article both educating and informative.

Rice is a short narrow white or brown plant grown on wet grounds in hot countries as food. Rice production in Nigeria can be viewed under the following headings;

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Rice Production in Nigeria 2018/2019
Rice Production in Nigeria 2018/2019 – Photo Source:
  • History
  • Recent developments
  • Production in 2018/ 2019

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Rice, a staple food in most Nigerian homes, has always enjoyed increased demand across the country. The three rice production environments and their coverage in Nigeria, are; rain-fed lowland (having a percentage of 69.0%), irrigated lowland (taking up 2.7%), and rain-fed upland (occupying 28.3%).

More than 90% of Nigeria’s rice is produced by resource-poor, small scale farmers, while the remaining 10% is produced by corporate/commercial farmers.

About 95 percent of rice processors are on a small level and are majorly operating with low capacity alongside the presence of obsolete mills.

Most of the traditional varieties of rice cultivated in Nigeria were introduced within the last twenty years. The majority of rice milling in Nigeria is done in Lafia, Nassarawa State, where there are about seven hundred mills.

From Nassarawa State, the rice is transported by trucks to various parts of the country. Most of the milling is done by cooperatives (small groups that are formed for various purposes, ranging from agriculture to other ventures).

Rice cultivation also takes place along the valleys of the Niger River, and its boundaries; Kaduna, Benue and parts of Sokoto. Local varieties of rice cultivated in Nigeria include ofada rice in the Southwest and Abakaliki rice in the Southeast. These varieties have been recently preferred to the imported or foreign varieties.

Recent Developments

Nigeria possesses a huge but largely untapped capability for developing irrigated rice. It is estimated that about 3.14 million hectares of irrigable land exist within the borders of the country, out of which less than fifty thousand hectares are used for growing irrigated rice.

Nigeria has large irrigation schemes in Anambra, Kwara, Kogi, Adamawa, Niger, Sokoto, Kebbi, Borno, Bauchi, and Benue States. (FAO, 2012).

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In the irrigated rice schemes, production constraints include low nitrogen-use efficiency, low mechanization, iron toxicity, menace from pests such as birds, disease, and toxicity that comes from soils polluted with heavy metals.

Irrigation schemes, little or no access to inputs originally meant for beneficiaries involved in various Agricultural schemes; one of such inputs being credit.

The others include a gradual yet consistent loss in labor due to various factors, ranging from migration to communal clashes, as well as the increasingly obvious reality manifesting in the aging farming population, attributed to migration to urban centers as well as a decline in interest in farming by the upcoming younger generation.

Rice yield in this scheme is estimated at 3.5 tons per hectare compared to the expected potential of seven to nine tons of rice per hectare.

In the rain-fed lowland environment, rice cultivation is characterized by a low yield range of 1.5 – 3.0 tons per hectare as against an expected potential of three to six tons per hectare.

This low yield is attributed to suboptimal water management, inadequate weed management, uncertain land tenure practices, pest and disease pressure as well as low or minimal adoption of modern rice varieties.

In the upland environment, rice cultivation is challenged by low adoption of improved or lab tested and validated varieties, excessive levels of acidity in the soil, shortages in the available population of labor, low implementation of mechanized farming.

Others include poor soil quality leading to soil infertility, poor control of weeds, limited capital made in limited investments, and so on.

In the upland environment, yields range from one to seven tons of rice per hectare, as against the expected yield of two to four tons per hectare.

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Other constraints include:

  • Inaccessibility of agro-inputs:- Here, the farmers as well as the rice chain value participants, find it difficult to access agro inputs, especially inputs such as quality seeds, fertilizer, and loans.
  • A lagging infrastructural development with regards to facilities required for irrigation, feeder or rural roads that connect areas where agricultural products are harvested to consumer areas.
  • Poor rice storage and processing facilities.

Rice Production 2018/2019

According to the United States Department of Agriculture on World markets and trade, Nigeria’s local rice production dropped from 2016 to 2018. This drop collaborated the reason for the importation of three million metric tons of rice in 2018.

The report also showed that since 2016, Nigeria had consistently milled three million, seven hundred and eighty thousand metric tons of rice annually which is a reduction from the three million, nine hundred and forty-one thousand metric tons in 2015.

This reduction, in turn, created an increased dependence on imported rice. Nigeria imported three million metric tons of rice in 2018 which is four hundred thousand metric tons more than the quantity of the product imported in 2017, according to the 2018 United States Department of Agriculture World Markets and Trade Reports. The reports also stated that the Nigerian local rice production dropped from 2016 to 2018, compared to 2015.

The report also indicated that rice consumption superseded production, with consumption of six million, nine hundred million metric tons of rice in 2018; an increase of two hundred thousand metric tons over the previous year. However, these reports have been renounced by the Federal Government.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), that in 2017, Nigeria’s rice consumption stood at 7.9 million tons, while the production rate increased to 5.8 tons per annum from a previous 5.5 million tons due to the Federal Government’s local production policy.

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The Rice Farmer’s Association of Nigeria attributed the increase to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s anchor borrowers’ programme with a total of twelve million rice producers and four million hectares of FADAMA rice cultivated.

As at January 2019, a Kano-based Rice mill, by the trade name Amarava Rice Mill says it is targeting five hundred tons of daily production of rice just as it hits two hundred and fifty tons to boost self-sufficiency. (Mr Subhash Chand, Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria).

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Anigbogu Chinenye

Anigbogu Chinenye is a Content Developer at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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