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Irrigation: Despite bumper harvest, paddy rice price remains high in Taraba

Despite a bumper harvest being witnessed by irrigation farmers in Taraba State, the price of paddy rice is still high. Findings revealed that 100kg bag…

Despite a bumper harvest being witnessed by irrigation farmers in Taraba State, the price of paddy rice is still high.

Findings revealed that 100kg bag of newly harvested paddy rice is sold at N40,000, and there is the likelihood that the price would go up very soon.

Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the cost of production and high demand are responsible for the high price of paddy rice in the state.

A farmer, Mallam Kabiru Saidu, said harvesting at irrigation farms had started in some parts of the state, but the price is still high.

He said this year, farm inputs cost more when compared to last year; that is why the price of paddy rice would not be cheap.

He said the prices of petrol and diesel went up, as well as rice seedling, weed chemicals and fertiliser. And the cost of tractor hiring and labour almost doubled.

He said a litre of diesel was sold at N1,000 last year, but it is now N1,800, while a litre of petrol was N300 last year, but this year, it is N680.

Saidu further said the cost of tractor hiring doubled from N35,000 to N60,000 per hour this year, while the price of NPK and Urea fertiliser increased from N24,000 to N35,000 per bag.

“When you put the cost of farm inputs and labour together, it will be difficult to make profit if a 100kg bag of paddy rice is sold less than N40,000,” he explained.

Another farmer, Ibrahim Saidu, told Daily Trust on Sunday that from all indications, there will be bumper harvest for irrigation farmers in Taraba State as they did not encounter pests this year, while there is available water in the boreholes sunk by individual farmers, which made watering very easy.

He, however, said the cost of diesel, petrol and other farm inputs increased cost of production, resulting to high price of paddy rice this year.

“Many farmers that planted rice in their irrigation farms very early have started harvesting, and they are witnessing bumper harvest. But the price of paddy rice is still high compared to last year.

“In every business, the aim is to make profit, and farmers are engaging in farming to make profit, that is why, after all calculations, the price of a bag of paddy rice is sold at N40,000,” he said.

Further findings revealed that there is high demand for paddy rice by both local millers and rice processing companies.

Agents of millers are already at the farms buying harvested rice, even though only few farms are being harvested.

Suleiman Zubairu, a large scale farmer, told Daily Trust on Sunday that 80 per cent of rice farms would be harvested at the end of May.

He said that up till now, some farmers were still planting rice, adding that some farms would be harvested twice.

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