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Nigeria Must Turn To Agriculture Now, Says Buhari




PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has declared that given the reality of the global financial situation, the time has come for Nigerians to do more than pay mere lip service to agriculture, as crude oil and gas exports will no longer be sufficient as the country’s major revenue earner.

Buhari made the declaration at an audience with Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, the Nigerian-born President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The President said: “It’s time to go back to the land. We must face the reality that the petroleum we had depended on for so long will no longer suffice. We campaigned heavily on agriculture, and we are ready to assist as many as want to go into agricultural ventures.”

The President pledged that his administration would cut short the long bureaucratic processes that Nigerian farmers had to go through to get any form of assistance from government.

He told the IFAD President that improvement of the productivity of farmers, dry season farming and creative ways to combat the shrinking of the Lake Chad would also receive the attention of his administration.

“There is so much to be done. We will try and articulate a programme and consult organisations like IFAD for advise,” Buhari said, adding that foreign exchange will be conserved for machinery and other items needed for production, “instead of using it to import things like toothpicks.”

Nwanze congratulated the President on his victory at the general elections and assured him that IFAD was ready to give all possible assistance to the Federal Government and Nigerian farmers to boost agricultural production in the country.

IFAD is an international organisation dedicated to addressing issues of agriculture and poverty alleviation. It was established in 1978 and has been collaborating with Nigeria for over 30 years.

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  • Martino

    It is time for Nigeria to go into manufacturing and become the World’s factory like China. That is the path of economic progress for this nation. Going back to Agriculture is nothing new PMB is saying. GEJ did that for 6years with success. Going back to agriculture is for a minute segment of the populace engaging in mechanized farming. Converting produce to finished products is the main problem we have and have always had. We need a better economic plan for this country and not some juvenile talk.

  • Joseph Asikpo

    @disqus_aJ2AQjQVUa:disqus The problem is that we don’t even have that enough of the ‘minute segment of the populace that are engaging in mechanized farming’. So PMB is right , Enough Agriculture first, then value adding will naturally follow.

  • amador kester

    Nah! Mr president.The key is manufacturing and industrialization.It will drive other sectors and create mega jobs,grow the economy and gdp exponentially and even in agric sector ,your special baby it will manufacture tractors,harvesters,etc to entrench food security. Hoe and knife agriculture belongs to the stone age.I dont know whether to blame your advisers mr president.Subsistent agriculture without technological advancement never grew any economy anywhere. Your advisers? Pls send them back to the school of commonsense

    • Tigist

      It is shame to hear that agriculture belongs to Stone Age from some one such as like you, while report shows in 2014 alone Nigeria has 12.1 million people in a state of hunger tops list of 11 Africa countries›

      N Borlaug in his Nobel prize speech says that “Civilization as it is known today could not have evolved, nor can it survive, without an adequate food supply. Yet food is something that is taken for granted by most world leaders despite the fact that more than half of the population of the world is hungry. Man seems to insist on ignoring the lessons available from history.” Are you saying technology before Agriculture ? Please… let us put our priority in order to create well fed society who can be capable to work on the technology you are talking about. Africa is currently spending $35 billion annually to import food and you are saying no agriculture first technology… Come-on…. Agriculture forms a significant portion of the economies of all.

  • E06

    “The discovery of Agriculture was the first big step towards a civilized life” … famous words uttered way back when. The development of any region in the world of agriculture, whether food, flowers, fish, or crops, of course provides the obvious, but it may also contribute in ways that one might not immediately think of. For example, expanding and developing agricultural sites would contribute to “nature orientated tourism”, because like we see in Switzerland, Israel, and Holland, these places to a considerable extent are filled with landscapes filled with agriculture, which generates interest from all across the world, bringing foreign or local investments in technologies as one illustration. Furthermore, in the absence of agricultural development, forestry would take over and all fertile soil would be lost, meaning that later on, should one choose to develop that region, the cost factor would be significantly higher and perhaps may even dissuade to proceed with such a an expansion. As a last note, agriculture enhances biodiversity, as various plant and animal species thrive in a development scheme rather than thick forestry. So apart from the food factor, there is a circle of benefits that go with the development of agricultural development in the region. Nigeria today is considered the most populated country in Africa, but also has the largest growing economy. The widespread advantages of starting agri and aqua projects around the country would be massive. In Kenya, the east African hub is considered today a pioneer in flower export and has created a significant amount of wealth, and puts itself on the global stage with the resources put into this field. Nigeria is currently at a path where it can genuinely decide its own prosperity. The potential is extraordinary, and agriculture, as a stepping stone, would be a monumental way forward.