Nigerians React as Thailand Moves to Auction Off 10-Year-Old Rice amid High Cost in Nigeria

Nigerians React as Thailand Moves to Auction Off 10-Year-Old Rice amid High Cost in Nigeria

  • Thailand is planning to auction off about 150,000 bags of rice kept in warehouses for over 10 years
  • The country expects to generate about $10.8 million from the auction as the commodity’s price rises in Nigeria
  • There are concerns that the rice may be harmful for consumption and may find their way into Nigeria soon’s Pascal Oparada has reported on tech, energy, stocks, investment, and the economy for over a decade

There are palpable fears over the possibility of 10-year-old Thai rice finding its way into Nigeria as the country grapples with the high cost of the commodity.

Thailand reportedly plans to auction off about 150,000 sacks of rice kept in warehouses for about 10 years, expecting to generate between $5.4 and $10.8 million from the sale.

Thai rice on its way to Nigeria
Thailand moves to auction old rice at cheaper rate Credit: NurPhoto
Source: Getty Images

Worries about health implication of Thailand rice

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The move has generated a buzz among citizens and food safety experts, who fear the health conditions of the rice.

The announcement by Thai officials has generated concerns among Nigerians, who fear that the unhealthy rice may enter the country and affect people’s health.

According to the Thai Exporter Association, African countries have become a dumping ground for Thai rice as purchasing volume rises.

Top African importers of Thai rice

Reports say that in the 2023-2024 season, Thailand was the second-largest rice exporter globally, with 8.2 million metric tons.

The top rice importers from Thailand last year include South Africa, Senegal, Cameroon, Mozambique, and Cote d’Ivoire, which imported a combined 2.48 million metric tons in the review period.

Zimbabwe imported about 55,691 tons of the staple, Algeria 76,747 tons, Angola 135,909 tons, Benin 139.206 tons, and Togo.

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Nigeria is not on the list of top rice importers in Africa because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) restricted FX sales to rice importers in the country in a previous policy.

Experts speak on Thailand rice development

The restriction has since been lifted, and importers can access FX in the official market at the official rate.

However, reports say most of the rice brought into Nigeria comes mainly from neighbouring countries such as the Benin Republic, Togo, and Niger.

A food expert, James Marsh, disclosed that the 10-year-old rice will contain zero nutrients as most have been wiped out.

He stated that toxins and harmful chemicals might be present in the rice, depending on the chemicals used in their preservation.

Traders sell 50kg bag of rice at new price earlier reported that the price of rice, a staple in Nigeria, is fast becoming unaffordable for most citizens as grain prices have skyrocketed 98.47% in the last 12 months.

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Experts say the continued rise in the price of local parboiled rice is due to the scarcity of paddy rice in the country.

A current survey of some food markets in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial centre, shows the prices of 50kg bags of top brands.

Proofread by Kola Muhammed, journalist and copyeditor at


Pascal Oparada avatar

Pascal Oparada (Business editor) Pascal Oparada is a Mass Communications Graduate from Yaba College of Technology with over 10 years of experience in journalism. He has worked in reputable media organizations such as Daily Independent, TheNiche newspaper, and the Nigerian Xpress. He is a 2018 PwC Media Excellence Award winner.

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