The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and the Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq, have reported that food in Nigeria is the cheapest in West Africa.
Governor AbdulRazaq stated this during a visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security which was also graced by other governors such as the Governor of Taraba State, Agbu Kefas, Kogi State Governor, Ahmed Ododo, and Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.
According to Governor Abdulrazaq, Nigeria needs to get to a stage where it can export its food.
He regretted that Nigeria could not achieve much with the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme, which he described as very challenging.
He said: “Nigeria’s food being exported to West Africa is the cheapest in the region today.
“We have also noted that food in Nigeria is the cheapest in West Africa, and our neighbours are using our food to trade. They are taking our soybeans and other stuff to make a foreign exchange for themselves
“That is not a bad thing; what we need to do is ramp up production and increase yield per hectare so that we can feed West Africa, feed ourselves 100 per cent, and export food. That is the goal we must achieve.”
Governor AbdulRazaq added that the issue of food security is a one-stop shop, and Nigeria needs to concentrate on what it is doing for dry-season farming.
“We have come to the realization that we now have a new Ministry of Agriculture. Because over the last four years, before this administration, the engagement was not too productive because the CBN had taken over most of what the Agriculture Ministry was doing. Our trips to the ministry at that time were not fruitful,” he added.
Earlier on his own remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, said the aim is to vastly increase agricultural production year-round with the cardinal objective of driving down food inflation, creating employment, reducing poverty, engendering economic growth and development, and promoting inclusivity.
“We are confident that we can partner in the realization of these objectives,” he said.
Senator Kyari then informed the governors that he has sent out Expressions of Interest to the Governors of the 36 States and FCT ahead of the second phase of the Dry Season Food Production Programme under the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro-Pocket (NASG-AP), to which responses have been encouraging.
“There is no question that if we get things right now, and without an iota of doubt with all hands on the plough, future programmes and projects will enable us to more seamlessly achieve all-year-round agricultural production with beneficial consequences for economic empowerment, inclusiveness, and ultimately wider opportunities for value addition, food and nutrition security, as well as industrialization.
“We are putting behind us the challenges encountered during the first phase of dry-season farming with wheat in 15 participating states,” he submitted.