More Lagos State residents on Tuesday besieged the centres designated by the State Government for the sale of Lake Rice as part of activities marking the forthcoming Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
The State Government had last Thursday commenced the sale of the rice. 50kg of the rice is being sold for N12,000, 25kg for N6,000 and 10kg for N2500.
Aside the designated sale centres, the rice is now available for purchase at the secretariats of most of the 57 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs).
Speaking at the Agricultural Development Authority (ADA) in Agege which serves as a depot and sale centre for Lake Rice, the Administrative Officer of Oto-Awori LCDA, Mr Semande Ayeni said the rice would be available for sale at the Council from Tuesday.
He said: “We were here yesterday (Monday) to take delivery of the rice to be sold at our Council and we will still come back to collect more once we exhaust the stock. The idea is that the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode wants the people to get the rice in their areas without necessarily travelling far distance to buy it at the designated sale centres.
“I can assure the people of our LCDA that from today (Tuesday), the rice is available for sale at the Council at the approved price. All they need to do is just come with their ATM card to buy the rice,” Ayeni said.
Also speaking, Director of Agric and Community Services, Isolo LCDA, Alhaji Lekan Otukoya said he was at the Agege Depot on behalf of the Council to pick up the bags of Lake Rice to be sold at the Council.
“Yes, I can confirm that I am here to pick up Lake Rice to be sold at our Council from Tuesday. We have been assured by the authorities at the State level that once we exhaust this stock, we should come back to take more.
“The idea is that people should be able to buy at the Councils which are close to them and that is what we are going to do,” Otukoya said.
Lake Rice is a product of agric partnership between Lagos and Kebbi States, and it is designed to encourage local rice production and ensure food security in the country.
Aside the agreement with Kebbi, the Lagos State Government is also working towards flooding the market with home grown rice, a development which made Governor Ambode to recently lead a delegation to Switzerland to acquire 32 metric tonnes per hour rice mill.
The mill, when operational within the next 12 months, will ensure availability of the item in the market and it will also facilitate the creation of about 200,000 jobs across the agriculture value chain, while it will also bring about the cultivation of 32,000 hectares of farm land to produce rice paddy, equating to an estimated 130million Kg of processed rice per year (an equivalent of 2.6milion 50kg bags of rice).
Besides, the State Government has also commenced the process of upgrading the Rice Mill at Imota from 2.5 metric tonnes per hour production capacity to 16 metric tonnes per hour production capacity.
Also recently, Governor Ambode, as part of the Western Nigeria economic integration agenda, sealed a major partnership with South West States whereby they will cultivate rice and supply the Imota Mill.