STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOP ON PADDY RICE GRADING STANDARD
Federal Government of Nigeria is desirous to achieve its goal of self-sufficiency in rice production and thus replace imported rice with locally produced rice by 2018, mills need sufficient amount of quality paddy for processing. In addition to obtaining enough amount of paddy the quality of domestic rice needs to be improved, and since the quality of paddy is critical and panacea to obtaining better milled rice, some initiatives for the improvement of quality of paddy are currently ongoing. The drafting of Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) on paddy grading by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) is among these initiatives. The challenge before now was that most stakeholders were not aware of the draft NIS on paddy grading, therefore all the integrated rice mills (IRM) in the country graded their paddy differently using parameters and thresholds based on their individual convenience and experience, which were however contradictory to the draft NIS and made trading in paddy difficult. In order to solve this problem, the federal government of Nigeria represented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has conducted several activities on paddy grading standard.
In order to discuss possible revision on draft NIS of paddy grading and harmonization of the IRMs grading standards with that of NIS, a technical meeting was held on 17 February 2016 with selected quality control managers (QCM) of IRMs. After a brain storming session, comments on draft NIS were consolidated and all the QCMs agreed to harmonize their standards with that of NIS
The Federal Government of Nigeria is planning to replace imported rice with locally produced rice. In order to achieve this goal locally produced rice must be able to compete favourably with foreign rice. Therefore, the mills need quality paddy. Hence this workshop was convened with the listed objected.