Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, who is not sure of being reappointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, has urged his successor to sustain his agricultural strides, especially in the revitalization and recapitalization of the Bank of Agriculture (BoA).
Ogbeh, who said this recently in Abuja, claimed that under his watch, the country has been able to scale up rice production. He said, “what we are doing today is a big leap forward because by the time we leave, there would be a new management, which we do not know who they would be. But the permanent secretary is here.
“He and the administration will carry on with what we are doing now. I urge them to make sure that they drive this agenda to make sure that we have a strong BoA so that this country can continue to do great things.
“We have done quite a bit. We are now number one in rice, cassava, yam and maize even though our maize is not selling because of aflatoxin and mycotoxin yam. We are also reviving the cottage industry.”
In the same vein, Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, also claimed that agriculture significantly contributed in getting the country out of recession. Represented by a Director in the ministry, Janet Jiya, at the 2019 Seed Connect, Lokpobiri disclosed that by 2050, Nigeria would become the world’s fourth largest populated country, adding that key stakeholders should brainstorm on how to ensure food security.
He said: “It will interest you to know that agriculture is a major growth and employment stimulating sector and forms the backbone of our economy. It contributed significantly to our exiting the recession that plagued this nation recently.
“By 2050, Nigeria will become the fourth largest population in the world, and we will be saddled with the challenge of feeding this huge number of people as well as creating decent jobs for them.
“We must develop our agricultural sector to meet the impending challenge ahead of us, which is why this administration has introduced a policy direction tagged, ‘The Green Alternative: Agricultural Promotion Policy’.
“It aims to work with all key stakeholders to build an agribusiness economy that can deliver sustained prosperity by meeting domestic food security goals, generating exports, and supporting sustainable income and job increase for our growing population,” he added.
Source: The Sun