The Federal Government has stated that its efforts to revamp the economy through agriculture, have started yielding positive results.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu, who made this claim in Abuja affirmed that increase in the volume of rice production and processing across the country was already saving the country a lot of foreign exchange.
Shehu noted that due to the country’s growing rice production stimulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to deny foreign exchange for rice importation, “parboiled rice mills’’ in some Asian countries were shutting down production.
“Five of such mills in Thailand servicing Nigeria have stopped production due to the withdrawal of our patronage,” he said.
The presidential spokesperson informed that government was watching with keen interest the growing investment in rice milling by the private sector and would continue to encourage the Ministry of Agriculture on such efforts geared towards increased productivity.
Also speaking on increased involvement in agriculture, Garba expressed that the revitalisaton of the agricultural sector was bringing about other socio-economic changes in the country.
“A recent survey in two urban areas in Jigawa state, the capital Dutse and Kiyawa showed that jobless young men are migrating from motorcycle taxi, achaba to farming. In Kiyawa, it takes a long wait to catch a motorcycle taxi because they are rapidly disappearing. The young men are moving to the farms. These are development issues in the country that our media should pay attention to”, he said.
He however informed that President Muhammadu Buhari will not be launching the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative next week as was being speculated. This he noted was to allow the production processes take a have a solid foundation before the launching.
Production of the first batch is expected to be completed by the end of March.