By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has said the invaluable health benefit of the Nigeria home grown rice cannot be overemphasized which contains all the vital food nutrient that our body requires to stay healthy and strong.
He said comparatively the foreign rice are of far lower quality to the home grown rice when the food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Representative in Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma visited him in his Office in Abuja as he resumed office in Nigeria.
Speaking further the Minister said “agriculture is the most important sector in the Nigerian economy. More so with the dwindling Oil price the present Administration of President Buhari is committed to redirecting Nigerians back to traditional agriculture and also determined to improve on mechanized farming from subsistence farming to enhance increase productivity”.
The Minister stressed the importance of collaborative partnership with the FAO. Such partnership with technical support from FAO will greatly to the achievement of the strategic objective of the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP) 2016-2020.
The Minister also talked about replicating the enviable success story of the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) to the rest of the African continent noting that this will encourage increase in the number of farmers and specifically increase productivity..
.”Our young fabricators who are gaining more prominence in the fabrication of fishery facilities here In Nigeria will be of great assistance to other African countries through the collaborative efforts of Nigeria and FAO shared information, knowledge and easy accessibility to both Regional and International markets”.
Earlier the visiting FAO Representative to Nigeria Suffyan Koroma, said he looks forward to strengthening all the alliances and build new ones in order to attain record success and the mandate of the Agriculture sector. Koroma said he will be reviving the quarterly meetings alongside the implementation of key projects that will satisfy the mandate of FAO and Nigeria collaborative efforts. He also said he will be taking stock of achievements made. He stressed the comparative advantage of the APP to reduce food importation and its control.
He was enthusiastic about the strong alignment with the new trust on the Economic Recovery and Growth Program (ERGP) he promised to ensure and build synergy with FAO’s mandate around the area of nutrition and food security which he confirms FAO has a lot to offer Nigeria. He said there are a lot of emerging best practices to be showcased about Nigeria’s success story and expertise to other countries, more so on how to leverage on the challenge facing them.