The Lagos State Government said it had extended the sale of LAKE Rice to supermarkets and shopping malls in the state to ensure the product reached every nook and cranny of the state.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau, during a meeting with representatives of shopping malls and supermarkets, said the state government extended participation to the high-end markets to ensure wider distribution and availability of the product.
He noted that the ultimate goal of the state government was to stop importation of rice and ensure that only locally produced rice was consumed by residents.
“Our LAKE Rice is of good quality. The major difference between LAKE Rice and imported rice is that the imported rice has a minimum of five to six years storage lifespan, but LAKE Rice is fresh and wholesome,” he added.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Food Security, Mr. Ganiyu Okanlawon, noted that the government would go into a Memorandum of Understanding with the stakeholders of supermarkets to ensure that the product was not be adulterated, or passed off in another brand’s name.
He said the government had put in place various measures to protect the product and avoid adulteration so that the aim of the government in the even distribution of the product would not be defeated.
Okanlawon added that the government had constituted a committee which would monitor the product in the market.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya, said the state would maintain the original price of N12,000 for 50kg and N6,000 for 25kg, but would offer commission to shopping malls and supermarkets to sell at the approved price and still make their gains.
The representative of Eko Farmers Mart, Surulere, Mr. Ibukunoluwa Olu-Jacobs, applauded the government for co-opting high-end market in the distribution of LAKE Rice.
Mr. Ayodeji Aluko of Super Saver Store said the move would provide an avenue of getting genuine rice as there were a lot of contraband rice brands in the country.