President Buhari has Nigerians that his administration is committed to Nigeria feeding itself, commending farmers for their commitments in ensuring that the efforts to economic diversification and inclusive growth remained attainable.
Speaking at a meeting with farmers on Tuesday, President Buhari said the stakeholders’ investments of over N300bn located in some of the most remote, and indeed, most forgotten parts of the country is a testimony to this fact.
He said farmers in the country have taken up the challenge. “Nigerians have now woken up to the fact that it is an embarrassment for us, as a nation, to import most of what we eat, given the great natural gifts of our country.”
He said between 2016 and 2018, eight new rice mills have come on stream, an equivalent to four new mills per annum, adding that Nigeria’s paddy production and productivity has also doubled compared to 2014 levels.
While commending the farmers, President Buhari said his government would soon be commissioning a sugar estate to boost the diversification effort.
He said the coming together of stakeholders and eventual signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between farmers, millers and rice dealers is a major step forward.
“Your commitment has guaranteed that the 11 million Nigerian farmers will remain employed. And I want to assure all of you that this Government will not let you down. We will also do our bit to ensure you are able to sell quality Nigerian rice at an affordable price,” Buhari told the farmers.
The president also commended the Governor of Kebbi State for his unwavering commitment to the rice value chain and indeed, Agriculture as a whole.
“I also must congratulate the CBN Governor for successfully managing the Anchor Borrowers Program. Your collaboration and commitment with other Agencies for the development of agriculture is a clear example of the alignment between the fiscal and monetary policies.”
President also told the stakeholders that clashes between farmers and herdsmen or the challenges fishermen face due to global warming and other environmental factors clearly demonstrates that Nigeria’s quest for food security has a direct link to the country’s national security objectives.