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Nigeria will meet its target in self-sufficiency in rice production by 2017, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogbe has promised.
Speaking at a roundtable meeting of Rice Supply Chain of the Agribusiness Supplier Development Programme (ASDP) jointly organised by the Ministry, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) in Minna yesterday, the minister said with deliberate policy to boost the production of rice, the expected target would be met.
The minister who allayed the fear of post-harvest loses, said the strategic implementation of government programmes would reduce such incidence, stressing that current policy in the sector would boost the dwindling economy.
Represented by the director of planning, Musa Alhassan, Ogbe said, « I assure you that with the current effort, Nigeria will be self-sufficient in rice production in 2017. We are getting close as there is improvement on what we have been getting before. This will boost our economy. »
Speaking earlier, the Team Leader of the United Nations Development Programme, Nigeria, Robert Asogwa said rice and cassava were the two major crops considered for their comparative advantage across the Nigerian states since they could generate economic multiplier benefits.
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