The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo met with a delegation of the Rice & Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria, alongside the Kebbi State Governor; Sen. Atiku Bagudu. The Vice President praised rice and wheat farmers, saying “farmers are among the most important people in Nigeria today.”
Prof. Osinbajo said by launching the CBN Anchor Borrowers financing initiative in Kebbi State, while also flagging-off the dry season rice and wheat farming late last year, what the President did was setting-off an agricultural revolution without saying so. He added that President’s action also “showed he had a clear idea of how to execute a formidable agricultural policy.”
According to the VP, “the President said it throughout the campaigns that pursuing an active agriculture policy in rice and wheat would be important” because Nigerians consume them, and importing both, even though these are crops that can be grown locally.
Earlier, the Kebbi State Governor Bagudu commended the political will of the presidency in supporting rice and wheat farmers. The interest he said is a huge motivation for the agricultural sector, raising the esteem of the farmers and heightening productivity. As a result, he noted that Nigeria would be self-sufficient in rice under two years and in wheat within three.
In their remarks, the presidents of both associations expressed satisfaction with the support rice and wheat farmers are now receiving from the federal government.
According to Mallam Aminu Goronyo, the President of the Rice Farmers Association, before this administration, “farmers in Nigeria were not regarded, but now farmers are kings.”
The President of the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria Salim Saleh Mohammed said most rice farmers were also wheat farmers, adding that the productivity level of both sets of farmers have already gone up.
Part of the Strategic Implementation Plan of the 2016 Budget which has been adopted yesterday by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, is the pursuit of measures to make the country self-sufficient and net exporters of certain agricultural items including rice in 2018 and wheat in 2019.