RiceTop rice importer Nigeria’s 2012 rice production is estimated to decline to around 4.2 million tons of paddy (about 2.5 million tons, basis milled), down almost 8% from about 4.6 million tons of paddy produced in 2011, and almost 20% less that the official target of around 5.3 million tons of paddy in 2012, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The 2012 rice production forecast for Nigeria has deteriorated due to the adverse impact of floods during September and October 2012, and is considered to be a setback for the Nigerian government which aims to achieve self-sufficiency in rice by 2015. The FAO said, “This latest setback puts a dent on a sector that has received a lot of official attention and was previously envisaged to yield some 5.3 million tons (3.2 million tons, milled basis) in 2012.”

The FAO also said that while Nigeria’s rice imports are expected to decline about 11% from 2.8 million tons in 2012 to around 2.5 million tons in 2013, most of the decline was due to protectionist measures which came into effect this January. However, the FAO warned that such measures made Nigeria the world’s largest rice importer in 2012 and will now “make unofficial inflows of rice from neighboring nations even more attractive, which explain the still high level of imports forecast in 2013.”

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