Chief David Umahi, Ebonyi State governor, on Wednesday placed a ban on eating of foreign rice at public functions and ordered that the popular Abakaliki rice be served instead.
Umahi made this known while briefing journalists in Abakaliki shortly after inspecting Iboko and Ikwo rice mill clusters, adding that he has directed persons who cook for the state government to change over to indigenous rice forthwith.
He said: “The parboiling process of Abakaliki rice 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 stopped our cooks from cooking any other rice except Abakaliki rice.”
The governor stated that the parboiling plants fully installed in the two locations would enhance massive rice production in the state, adding that the problem of inadequate water supply identified as militating against optimal function of the machines, would soon be resolved.
He expressed confidence that the price of local rice which has inflated would gradually drop when government policies on rice production are fully implemented.
Umahi explained that the available rice mills were not enough but that his government had concluded plans to establish three more rice mills in the state.