Ebonyi State government has forthwith, banned consumption of foreign rice at public functions.
Explaining the reason behind the ban, Governor David Umhai of Ebonyi state said the decision is aimed at returning the popular Abakaliki rice to kitchens.
The Governor stated this after inspecting Iboko and Ikwo rice mill clusters.
He also directed persons who cook for the state government to turn to indigenous rice forthwith.
According to him, ”The parboiling process Abakaliki rice undergoes makes it durable, unlike the imported rice which does not undergo parboiling.
“That is why after six months it becomes chaff and unhealthy for consumption.
“That is why we have banned our cooks from cooking any other rice except Abakaliki rice.”
Umahi said the parboiling plants, fully installed in the two locations, would enhance massive rice production in the state.
He expressed confidence that the price of local rice, which hitherto skyrocketed, would drop gradually when government policies on rice production are fully implemented.
The governor further explained that the available rice mills were not enough.
He assured his government had concluded plans to establish three more rice mills in the state.