Nigeria produces 90 per cent of rice it consumes – Minister

Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture
Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, on Tuesday expressed satisfaction that Nigeria was now producing 90 per cent of the rice it consumed locally.

Mr Ogbeh disclosed this at the 2019 Annual Research Review and Planning meeting held at the newly commissioned Balarabe Tanimu Conference Hall at the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, Kaduna State.

The theme of the meeting is: “Harnessing the Potential of Agricultural Export in Nigeria: The Role of Key Stakeholders.”

Mr Ogbeh, who was represented by Karima Babangida, the Director, Extension Services of the ministry, said the support of the present administration had triggered a visible shift “to eating what we grow rather than eating imported food.”

“One very good example that we see today is the locally 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 said.

According to him, the same thing is happening in other sectors of the agricultural economy, with collective efforts of stakeholders, Nigeria will have a favourable balance of trade in food items.

Mr Ogbeh stressed the need for all stakeholders, researchers, extension service providers, farmers groups, policy makers, development partners, input suppliers, agro-based NGOs among others must all synergise to continue to harness the enormous potential in the country.

He minister called for improved crop varieties, both arable and tree crops, livestock and fisheries, adding that it was the only way to improve comparative and competitive advantages and become self-sufficient in food and agricultural production.


nlng Campaign AD

“The National Agricultural Extension System also needs to strongly adopt best piracies in the cultivation of the various commodities to ensure high quality farm outputs that in turn determines the quality of the final product.

“The extension system has a critical role to play in ensuring famers’ adherence to processes that assure quality and traceable of farm produce,” he said.

Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, who is also the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Ibrahim Garba, observed that the future of Nigerian economy depended on agriculture.

Mr Garba, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics, Ezra Bako-Amans, said the Nigerian agricultural export potential were enormous.

“Nigeria has all it takes to lead the African trains-border trades in food and fibre. It can cut its global share too in a number of crops it has comparative advantages in their production.

“The world’s cotton economy for instance, is about 1 trillion dollars. Needless to say is that cotton used to be one of the most important fibre crops in Nigeria, but down the line, we lost relevance on this crop.

“With the current renewed focus on agriculture, this glory can be reclaimed and Nigeria can have her fair share in the global cotton industry,” he said.

The VC requested on behalf of the IAR and other research related units of the university the federal government to return the mandate of the institute to contribute toward the improvement of some horticultural crops to which the institute had relative advantage to handle.

He also appealed to the ministry to consider mechanism that would make industries fund and support developmental research.



PT Mag Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.