Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh has said that at least 90 percent of the rice consumed in the country is being produced in the country.
The Minister made this known at the 2019 Annual Research Review and Planning meeting, which happened at the Balarabe Tanimu Conference Hall at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, Kaduna State on Tuesday.
The Minister was duly represented at the event by Mr Karima Babangida, Director of Extension Services in the ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Mr Karimu said it was possible for local formers to produce that much volume because of the backing they are getting form the Federal Government.
He also noted that the present government administration is geared towards shifting from importing food to growing of the food to eat.
In his words: “One very good example that we see today is the home-grown Nigerian rice. Hitherto, Nigeria has been a major and largest importer of rice from Thailand and this implies largest importer in the world.
“But today, we have been able to achieve a paradigm shift in the right direction and we are now producing 90 per cent of the rice we eat in the country, I think we should appreciate our farmers here.
“Nigeria does not only have the capacity to feed itself, it also becomes a major actor in agricultural exports to other African countries, Europe and American countries, including the Far East, especially China.”
He also remarked that the agricultural sector of economy is witnessing the same growth seen in other major countries that has invested in agricultural importation.
He pointed out the need for major stakeholders in the agricultural sector to support and corporate with themselves, and in doing so, Nigeria will be able to achieve a balance in the import and export of food.