President Muhammadu Buhari made a statement on Thursday in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja that his administration is making intense efforts to recover Nigeria’s agricultural sector and also position it as the main arm of the economy.
With the new ambassador of Bulgaria and other new diplomats in attendance, he stated his ambition to move Nigeria from a food-importing nation to one that is self-sufficient. He also added that Nigeria’s continuous import of food would leave it prone to more external uncertainties.
The president likewise mentioned that producing rather than importing not only secures our feeding but also makes jobs available, thereby curbing unemployment.
“We must produce what we eat. We don’t have unlimited resources to continue the importation of food items that can be produced locally.
“Fortunately, some Nigerians have shown foresight by building factories that process agricultural products within the country.
“They have created a value chain that boosts employment, protects our foreign reserves and safeguards the economy from external shocks.
“We will do all that we can to encourage others to join in the effort to achieve national self-sufficiency in food production,” President Buhari said.
However, most of the farmers in Nigeria adopt a subsistence approach, producing just enough to feed themselves and their families. The few who adopt commercial agriculture are limited by their ignorance of mechanized farming. Hence, the productivity levels are low and tasking, thereby making the ease of food importation more appealing.
The president aware of this situation added that this problem will be tackled as he is keen on educating and encouraging Nigerian farmers to adopt modern and technology-influenced methods to farming as this is the only way to increase productivity and assure high returns on investment.