Nigeria now Largest Producer of Rice in Africa – FG

Nigeria is now Africa’s largest rice producer, the Federal Government has stated.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono made this claim at a press briefing ahead of the 2020 World Food Day.

The World Food Day is an annual event, held every 16th of October, to mark the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.

According to Nanono, the Federal Government’s food importation ban had geared increased efforts to upscale local food, particularly, rice production.

He noted that the step had also helped bolster food security, further revealing that the country is also the world’s largest cassava producer.

According to him, the feat was achieved through the implementation of several policies to strengthen the value chain.

He added that attention is now being paid to the livestock and fisheries value chain.

This, he averred, is as a result of the government’s economic diversification plans.

In his words; “Significant progress has been made to improve agricultural productivity since the inception of the present administration.

“To boost food security, Nigeria has curbed imports and has established a robust rice production programme to encourage more rice production at home.

“Efforts in this direction are starting to show results as Nigeria is now Africa’s largest producer of rice. The country is also the largest producer of cassava in the world.”

The Minister, however, decried the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector.

According to him, the global pandemic, as well as climate change is contributing significantly to low agricultural productivity.

He said, “However the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and impact of climate change are contributing to low productivity in the sector.

“The disruptions occasioned by the pandemic and flood disasters in the country came at a significant cost to Nigeria’s agricultural production.

“At present, there are growing concerns on the implications of the crisis on farmers and food security in Nigeria”.

SOURCE: AGRONIGERIA

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