Monday, 19 October 2015

Nigeria Will Be Major Grains, Food Exporter By 2019 – PMB

Buhari-
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his administration’s resolve to make Nigeria self-sufficient in food production with the capability to export 10 million tons of grains and processed food by 2019.

Buhari in a message at the Agricultural initiative, the ‘Green River Project’ (GRP) embarked upon by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (NAOC) and its partners, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Oando, and indigenous oil and gas companies, also said that the return of marketing corporations is to serve as the main platform of the government’s programme that will lead to the development of 740,000 market-oriented young agricultural producers. Read on.........

The President, in the speech delivered on his behalf by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Arc. Sonny S. T. Echono commended the partners for the initiative.

President Buhari said the government had moved to establish the Youth Employment in Agriculture Program (YEAP) which will benefit 20,000 school leavers and rural youth leaders in each state of the federation and develop 18,500 university graduates into young agribusiness entrepreneur called “nagropreneurs”

The strategy, according to him, will also ensure Agricultural Equipment Hiring Enterprises (AEHEs) which is a private sector-led mechanisation programme that will inject a total of 6,000 units of tractors and implements, 15,000 power tillers, 20,000 planting and postharvest equipment to mechanise an estimated 4 million hectares of land nationwide.

The NAOC initiative has so far covered over 120 rural communities and empowered over 35, 000 farmer.

Buhari noted that the GRP programme has become more important “at this time our national life when oil has ceased to become the cash cow of our economy we have no option than to turn to agriculture.”

“Diversification of our economy is no longer something to pay lip service to”, he told farmers from Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers State during the celebration of this year’s Farmers’ Day organised by NAOC.

The Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Fulvio Rustico, in his remarks, described the Green River Initiative of NAOC as a means to re-enforce a healthy relationship and cooperation between his country and Nigeria.

The Chairman of NAOC, Mr. Ciro Antonio Pagano with his Vice, Massimo Insulla, in their respective remarks, spoke on the impact of Green River Project in the four stakeholder states of Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers.

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