Customers buy foreign rice bagged as local brands

Constant push by the Nigerian government to increase its rice production has fuelled the rebranding of top local brands, as markets are constantly raided to confiscate foreign rice.

“Most of the Nigerian rice at the market is re-bagged. They are not from the company written on the bags. The content doesn’t look the same when you check it round as some have shorter grains, brownish while others are white with stones,” said a consumer who simply gave her name as Odunayo, who was at Surulere Market to buy a bag of rice.

“I was so confused and frustrated walking around the market; I decided to leave because none of the bags were the same,” she said.

However, the gains recorded in the Nigerian rice industry during the period the nation closed it borders are fast fading away as foreign varieties make a return to markets across Lagos State.

Despite the increase in productivity per unit of cultivated land and the expansion of mills in the last four years, the quality of most local varieties has remained perpetually poor, thus fuelling consumers’ preference for foreign varieties.

Low quality coupled with the high cost of production has made local rice uncompetitive. Imported brands from Thailand, Vietnam and Indian are the preferred options.

Read more: Business Day