The Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, has said that the Nigerian Government has invested in rich seeds developed by research institutes to revolutionise agriculture in the country.
Ogbeh stated this while giving a goodwill message at an Agric Expo event with the theme: “Innovating for a Sustainable Green Economy,’’ in Lagos.
According to the minister, this enabled Nigeria to be exporting more than it imports due to increase in both the population and output of farmers.
The minister said the government was encouraged by the commitment of commercial banks in bringing farmers together to discuss the challenges, prospects and the future of agriculture in the country. ”We must protect the banks and those who lend money to farmers. We are very grateful to you for your continued commitment to Nigeria,’’ Ogbeh said.
Dr. Okechukwu Enelemah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, noted that agriculture is one of the key priorities of the present administration.“If you look at the passion of the government, agriculture is number one,’’ Enelemah said.
The minister noted that the government is committed to creating the enabling environment for agribusiness to flourish, adding that Public Private Partnership (PPP) is pivotal to ensuring agribusiness gets to the next level.
Dr. Doyin Salami of the Lagos Business School (LBS) said agriculture is a major contribution of output and foreign exchange earnings.
The don said a green economy is characterised by renewable energy, low carbon emission, industrialisation among others.
He noted that given the nation’s population, the country needs to look for a more sustainable means of feeding its population.
He also noted that the quality of agricultural production and yield left much to be desired.
On the way forward, the don said technology and big data are needed for Nigeria to make progress in agriculture and be able to feed its teeming population.