The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, on Sunday in Abuja revealed that Nigeria would in 36 months reach self-sufficiency in major agricultural products such as rice, sorghum, maize, millet, soya beans and wheat.
He said this would help the nation achieve its aim of weaning itself from oil by import substitution and stabilizing the economy as well as reducing the high import bill generated on food items.
The minister made the revelation at the ‘National workshop on developing a rapid action for quality seed production’ and the presentation of the ‘alliance for a seed industry in West Africa’ (ASIWA) organized by the National Agricultural Seeds Council, (NASC).
The minister said the FG would support the growth of the seed industry to produce high quality seeds which in turn will lead to the production of quality grains.
‘’This is of integral importance for food security, job creation and prosperity of the economy. The production of these quality products will help reduce importation and the demand for huge foreign exchange required for food importation.’’
The Director General of NASC, Dr Philip Ojo, in his remarks emphasized the need for a viable seed sector to boost the nation’s economy, adding that in order to attain the effort in diversification, the council had been mandated to come up with strategies that will ensure that good quality seeds are made available to farmers.
‘‘Our roles as seed industry stakeholders is very crucial because it is the fulcrum for the achievement of national seed requirement that currently stand at over 350,000 MT of which only about 123,000 MT is available as at 2015. This means that we must now double our already doubled efforts if we are to achieve this target. It means this is a term for a quadruple effort.’’