Nigeria to shut border over 'poisonous' rice

The Nigeria government says the countries borders will shut down in the following days in an effort tot curb foreign rice from being smuggled into the country.

Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh, attributed the new measures to the presence of harmful substances like "arsenic" and other "poisonous materials" in rice imported from China and South East Asia.

Audu Ogbeh said: "In South East Asia where they grow the rice, if you plant rice in the same place for four to six years continuously, the quantum of arsenic begins to increase."

"Arsenic causes cancer and that is what they are dumping for us. Some people say they prefer Thai rice because they are very sophisticated. Welcome to poison!"

Nigeria is among a number of African countries seeking to increase local rice production, with the agriculture minister in 2017, claiming Nigeria would become a self-sufficient rice producer by the end of the year

Local experts are less optimistic labelling it a "pipe dream".

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