Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday said that the Federal Government’s agricultural empowerment programme had created new set of millionaires in farming.
Mohammed said this on Channels TV’s programme, “Sunrise Daily,” while discussing the mid-term report of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The minister revealed that many young farmers have been equipped through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrower Programme and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture’s Soil Map initiative have recorded huge success in rice and grain productions, particularly in Kebbi, Kano, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Sokoto states, had made farming attractive to young people.
While the initiative had also helped in boosting the local production of rice, increasing yields per hectares in grains production and reducing importation of rice.
Mohammed said that in 2015, Nigeria imported 580,000 metric tonnes of rice, which trickled down to 58,000 metric tonnes in 2016 due to the implementation of the programme.
He explained that the price of local rice was still higher than the imported one, but the trend would change as production increases.
According to the minister, the cost of fertiliser has been reduced from N9000 to N5000 due to bilateral agreement Nigeria signed with Morrocco.