The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, has promised to ensure that agricultural research institutes in the country are strengthened to promote improved seedlings.
This, he said would enhance food production in the country.
Speaking while receiving briefs from the research agencies under the ministry, he said, “For me, I want to be very serious with the research institutes, so that they will research on improved seeds that will be suitable to our environment.”
Drawing from his wealth of experience in the farming business and the enormous opportunities which abound, the minister urged Nigerians to refocus on making the agricultural sector the hub of economic growth in Nigeria.
According to a statement by the Director, Information Department in the ministry, Mr. Mohammed Nakorji, Nanono was joined in the briefing by the Minister of State, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, as well as the representative of the Permanent Secretary and directors in the ministry.
The minister, on resumption of office last week, pledged his preparedness to revamp the agricultural sector, by creating a friendly environment to attract investors.
According to him: “The agricultural sector is the largest employer of labour in Nigeria. if Nigeria gets agricultural policy right the country may not only feed its citizens but the entire West African Countries.”
He, therefore, sought the cooperation of staff in achieving his objectives. He is however, yet to unveil an elaborate work plan to liberate the sector.
A recent comment by President Muhammadu Buhari that he had asked the Central Bank of Nigeria to henceforth stop the provision of foreign exchange for importation of food items has continued to attract mixed reactions.
Buhari had said if the policy is implemented, it would improve domestic agricultural production and support the country’s quest for food security.
According to the president, foreign reserves will be conserved and utilised strictly for diversification of the economy and not for encouraging more dependence on foreign import bills.