Nigeria now feeding West, North, Central Africa – FG

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Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

Nigeria does not only feed itself, but now feeds other countries in West, North and Central Africa, the Federal Government has said.

According to the government, Nigeria’s ability to feed other countries is enhanced by the four per cent growth in its agricultural sector, and the industry will soon become the engine room for economic transformation.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, disclosed this in Abuja at an event where the ministry’s former Permanent Secretary, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, handed over to his successor, Dr. Bukar Hassan.

Ogbeh said the nation’s agricultural sector had witnessed appreciable growth in the face of economic recession and noted that it was the target of the Federal Government to diversify the Nigerian economy away from oil and gas to agriculture

He said, “This is one sector of the economy that engages many people. Rice growers alone are up to 12 million and the number is increasing. We are about to give out 100 rice mills in the course of the year. We are beginning to feed not only Nigeria, but West, North and Central Africa.

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“As I speak to you, lorry loads of rice from Adamawa and Ebonyi move from there to Central Africa. So let’s work together and let’s build a strong agriculture economy. Agriculture is growing at four per cent in an economy under recession. We thank you (Ahmed) for the work, the many files we passed to you and the many meetings we called.”

The minister welcomed the new permanent secretary and called for team work in order to build a strong economy through the agriculture sector.

Ogbeh said the Federal Government had through agriculture brought life to rural communities, as rural farmers were recording commendable outputs from farming.

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According to him, food processing mills will be established in every rural community across the country before the end of this year.

Ahmed, in his remarks, thanked members of staff of the ministry for the opportunity given him to serve and urged them to extend the same cooperation to his successor.

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