By Bemgba Iortyom
Earlier today I went to my usual shopping point on Katsina-Ala Street in Makurdi to purchase Miva Rice for family consumption, but failed to get any.
A trip to a few other shopping points in the city didn’t yield any result either as sellers also complained of a shortage the rice brand from the producers.
At one of the shopping points I met with some shoppers who were also searching for Miva Rice which is a local Benue rice brand milled and packaged by Mikap Nig. Ltd. in Makurdi.
One of them, a well known female retired senior civil servant, told me that she and her family have been consuming Miva Rice as their sole rice brand choice for a number of years now.
According to her, she is sure of the nutritional quality of this locally milled and packaged rice which is fresh from the farm to the production lines and onto the shelves of marketing points
She said she is not sure the same is the condition of the other foreign rice brands in the market which she has no idea as to their source, age on the shelves and nutritional content.
Most of us agreed with her and the validity of her views, and at this point I put a call across to the MD/CEO of Mikap Nig. Ltd., Chief Mike Kaase Aondoakaa SAN, a former Minister of Justice & Attorney-General of the Federation.
I informed him of the predicament of consumers being unable to access Miva Rice in the market in Makurdi.
Chief Aondoakaa SAN apologised and regretted the situation, assuring that efforts were not being spared by the management of Mikap Nig. Ltd. to get Miva Rice back to the shelves and in sufficient quantities to meet consumers’ demand.
He further offered, as an interim palliative, that those of us around could go to the factory and get a bag each for our needs, which we did and got fresh bags of rice straight off the production lines.
While at the factory I engaged a top management staff in discussion and he revealed to me that the factory was struggling with a shortage of rice from farmers in Benue and Taraba states.
He said the shortage is as a result of low output from the rice paddies in Benue and Taraba where the Fulani herdsmen crisis adversely affected the previous farming seasons.
The Mikap man however, revealed that efforts being made to source rice in far away places like Kano and Kebbi states were yielding results, though he lamented that the situation directly impacts the production cost.
Miva Rice, produced by Mikap Nig. Ltd., with factory located at Kilometre 5, Makurdi-Gboko Road, adjacent to Benue Breweries Ltd., is an entrepreneurial initiative of Chief Mike Kaase Aondoakaa SAN.
The erudite legal luminary has always stated that the vision propelling the production of Miva Rice is to boost the food security of Benue and Nigeria, as well as enhance the nutritional content of the food available to the ordinary people.
Bemgba Iortyom writes as a concerned consumer of Miva Rice.