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We all know how things are in the country now. The price of rice is way over the roof.
So yesterday, I was discussing the news I read online some two days ago about the increase of rice to #40,000 by December, with my customer.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, made the announcement.
A lot of Nigerians were sad by it and I was just giving her a heads up, in case the worse eventually comes to pass.
She was shocked. "Increased ke! No be dem say rice wan come down so? Local rice don already full market o. Only say we go pick am. Small small stones dey inside."
It was a welcome news. If we already have local rice in the market, hopefully, more will come and the price will eventually drop some more.
However, there are those who won't want to hear anything about local rice. They'd rather spend forty thousand naira on one bag of foreign rice. So I asked a few of those in this category. What is your reason for not wanting local rice? Below is the response.
1. Local rice is not sweet. It has no taste.
2. In this time and age, people are going forward, we are going backwards. I picked rice years back as a girl. Now I'm a grand mother, I'll still be picking rice?
3. The local rice is still expensive jor. N80 for cup. I'll rather add a little money and buy foreign rice.
Their reasons made me remember a lady I got to know a few years back. She sells kitchen utensils, baking equipments and ingredients etc.
We happened to talk about rice business one day I went to her shop to buy some backing items. It was then she told me of her friend who wanted to go into rice business too.
She said her friend was taken to a very remote part of Lagos state. The factories there were specially for rice. Not just any rice, but local rice.
They took our local rice, de-stoned it with their machines and then used chemicals to wash and treat it. It came out beautiful. Everybody working in the factory wore nose mask because of the strong smell from the chemical. She was given one too.
After the rice is ready, they'll package it in foreign bags and sell at foreign rates. The interesting part is that she said a lot of rice suppliers where there to buy, so they could supply their customers in different states.
The lady said her friend was scared. It looked like a secret that the owners wouldn't want exposed. She was even scared to complain. Instead of the 12 bags she wanted, she bought only three bags, so as not to look un-serious. To worsen her situation, the man who brought her in had started to wonder why she changed her mind about the quantity.
The rice she bought were packed in foreign bags. Those sellers who know the secret will still sell at the price original foreign rice is sold for.
The buyers will be happy buying and eating the rice. It tastes well. But is it a foreign rice? Plus, what effects will those chemicals used for washing the rice have on us over time?
Of course, not all foreign rice are local rice. A lot of rice in the market are truly foreign rice. But a lot are not either.
My dears, embrace local rice. Let's move our economy forward by purchasing our own. We don't need to be cheated anymore or deceived in the name of foreign rice actually produced and processed here in our own land.
We only plead with the manufacturers to try more in de-stoning the rice so we don't battle with stones.
God Bless Us
God Bless Our Rice
God bless Nigeria