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Nigeria Rice Imports Seen Rising 12% on Demand, Lower Output

  • Cultivated areas expected to decline as farmers give up rice
  • Imports likely to reach 2.9 million tons in 2018-19 season
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Photographer: Stefan Heunis/AFP/Getty Images

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Nigeria, the world’s third-biggest rice importer, will likely receive 12 percent more of the grain from foreign sources in the 2018-19 season as demand spikes at a time of declining output due to higher costs and insecurity, an industry body said.

“We foresee a significant drop in rice production this year,” Mohammed Sahabi, chairman of the rice farmers’ association in Kebbi, a state that’s one of the country’s top three producers of the grain, said by phone from the local capital, Birnin Kebbi.