Rice: Nigeria must be self-sufficient in 4 years -FG
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said Nigeria must become self-sufficient in rice production in the next four years.
The minister made the declaration when he spoke with journalists on activities of the ministry for the year and its expectations in 2012.
Dr Adesina said that the government had accelerated the completion of three rice mills in Ebonyi, Niger and Kebbi states.
He said there were 14 additional rice mills spread across the country which would be able to produce about 440 metric tonnes of rice. He said the rice mills would be put up for public private partnership (PPP).
The minister said that Nigeria had become a dumping ground for imported products. He said that farmers from agricultural exporting countries were making huge amounts of money from Nigeria.
Adesina said Nigeria was feeding well beyond its means. He said the country had spent about N635 billion on wheat alone for 2011, thereby creating jobs for farmers abroad and raising unemployment in the nation.
The minister said it was the responsibility of the government to stand up for the Nigerian farmers.
He said the country was going to add 50 million tonnes of food supply from now till 2015, thereby feeding Nigerians and creating foreign exchange for the country through exporting of its agricultural produce.
Dr Adesina then stated that the ministy would collaborate with the Ministry of Aviation to arrange for Cargo Airports, where perishable goods would be processed and immediately exported outside the country