Production of rice in the country has gotten a big boost following the training of a total number of 17,519 Nigerians in improved parboiling technology.
The technology, also known as “converted rice” had recorded tremendous success in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Guinea, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Switzerland, the U.S. and France.
The process has three basic steps of parboiling, which are soaking, steaming and drying; it makes rice easier to process by hand, while boosting its nutritional profile and changing its texture.
While making this known and explaining all these in Abuja, Mrs. Salamatu Babatunzwang, the Communication Officer of a Japanese government agency, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said that the training would be an added advantage to ongoing efforts to improve rice production in the country.
Babatunzwang informed that the agency carried out the training, in collaboration with other partners, so as to upgrade the farmers’ skills in modern rice processing techniques.
The project, which she said was executed in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, was to improve the capacity of small-scale rice processors to produce quality rice.
Babatunzwang disclosed that the initiative was developed under JICA’s technical cooperation project, known as Rice Post Harvest Processing and Marketing Pilot Project and executed in Niger and Nasarawa states.
“This technology was introduced in the two pilot states of Niger and Nasarawa between 2011 and 2016 to teach local farmers ways of boosting the nutritional value of rice, while changing its texture,’’ she said.
She added that the initiative had begun to yield good results.