The state government on Sunday declared that its rice plants at Acha in Isuikwuato, Ofeme in Umuahia North and Uzuakoli in Bende LGAs were producing large quantity of rice enough for local consumption which will soon be exporting to other states.
Chief John Okiyi Kalu, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, told newsmen in Umuahia that Abia rice known in local parlance as “Osikapa Abia” will be ready for export soon.
According to him, the rice mills had been equipped with modern technology that makes rice produced in them to be stone-free and nutritious.
This, he added, makes Abia rice internationally acceptable because it meets the modern method of producing the grain.
The commissioner further stated that the critics were indeed lampooning the government because they were not aware of the rigorous process of rice production; a situation that makes them assume that the ones produced in Abia were imported.
Kalu argued that because of its increase in the mills, point of sales for the product had been opened in Aba, Umuahia and Isuikwuato, recalling that on assumption of office in May 2015, the Okezie Ikpeazu administration commenced what he called “the massive production the grain in parts of the state.
This, he added, informed the reason the governor directed many years ago that only locally produced rice should be served in government organised ceremonies anywhere in the state.
The commissioner maintained that the strengthening of Abia Marketing Agency was to galvanise the agency to export Abia produced goods which Abia Rice is one, stressing that some of the access roads leading to the mills including the ones to rice farmers were being rehabilitated.
Kalu used the opportunity to announce that the government has commenced the supply of seedlings to rice farmers and therefore challenged the farmers across the federation to install modern equipment in their mills to ensure that their product meets international standard and taste.
Meanwhile, facts findings by ABACITYBLOG MEDIA showed that a bag of rice (not Abia Rice) is been sold at N24,000 (twenty four thousand naira) in Aba while a cup of rice by retailers is sold at N200.
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