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Buhari’s Government Empowers 12m Farmers In 2 Years – Lai Mohammed |RN

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi

The Federal Government has said that due to its agricultural revolution, the number of farmers empowered across the country has increased from five million to over 12 million within two years of President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this, on Sunday, at Government House, Birnin-Kebbi, during his two days official visit to the state.

The minister said the agricultural revolution story of the state has projected Nigeria as a food-producing nation.

Said he,  “Our detractors would not believe us what this government has achieved on agricultural revolution, that is why we decided to come here and go to different villages where farming are taken place to tell the whole world our story.”

The minister who said that Federal Government would empower more farmers to encourage them on food production.

Governor Bagudu, in his remark, told the minister that apart from successes recorded in agriculture, Kebbi State is blessed with different cultural festivals such as Argungu fishing festival, Hottungo, Regatta, Uhola at Argungu, Suru and Zuru local government areas are potentials needed to be resuscitated.

Governor Bagudu also said that the incessant crisis between farmers and herdsmen across the country was due to climatic change, saying it has no religious or tribal colouration.

The governor, however, urged the Federal Government and Nigerians to help Fulani herdsmen and fishermen across the country in areas of education, modernisation of their trades stressed that most of them were not educated and easily prune to crimes. (The Sun)

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Over 12m Farmers Have Joined Rice, Wheat Revolution, Says Buhari |RN

President Muhammadu Buhari has declared the administration’s Anchors Borrowers’ Programme a huge success.

The president said 12.2 million farmers have joined the rice and wheat revolution while the country is moving close to self- sufficiency in major grains.

Buhari was represented by his Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the 25th Edition of the Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA) Ceremony in Lagos, on Wednesday night.

He said the success of the agriculture revolution has turned thousands of rice farmers into millionaires and drastically reduced rice import.

‘’Apart from the successes we have achieved in tackling insecurity and fighting corruption, perhaps, our most remarkable progress has been in the area of agriculture. Quietly but steadily, our agriculture revolution is bearing fruits.

“According to the Rice Exporters of Thailand, rice imports from Thailand fell from 644,131 tons in September 2015 to 20,000 tons in September 2017, representing a 95 precent drop,’’ the president said, and noted that self-sufficiency in rice is so important because it is the most widely consumed staple in Nigeria, and also, because Nigeria’s daily expenditure on rice for over three decades stood at $5 million a day!”

He said Nigeria is also doing well in Millet, Sorghum and Maize cultivation, adding: ‘’We are now the second largest producer of sorghum after the United States of America, the third in millet after India and our breweries are now enjoying local sourcing of those commodities. For maize, we are producing 10 million tonnes while we need about 13 million tonnes; for both human and animal nutrition.’’ The president also disclosed how Nigeria leads the world in yam and cassava production and that efforts are being made to restore and improve on the country’s ranking in cocoa production, where it has fallen from second to the seventh position.

‘’We are also investing in a new line of tree crops targeting local and foreign end users and certain to earn foreign exchange. These are shea butter, palm trees, coconut, mangoes, bananas and plantains, kenaf and sisal hemp, castor and pineapple, among others. Overall, our ambition is that agriculture should rise from 25 percent to 40 percent of GDP so that we can banish poverty and overcome our economic anxiety,” he said.

President Buhari hailed the NMMA, which he called the preeminent media excellence award, and said the Nigeria media has done well over the years hence it deserves to be celebrated.

He, however, urged the media not to allow those who brought Nigeria to a sorry pass to muddle the waters by creating their own narrative which is far from reality.

‘’This is important because there seems to be a feeling of numbness among the citizens about the conduct of those whose actions brought us here. Suddenly, these same people are engaging in revisionist history and blaming those who are working themselves to the bone to correct the misdeeds of the past. They are blaming everyone but themselves for the mess they threw the country into,’’ the President said.

He said those who mismanaged the country have shown no contrition, no apologies, no shame, but instead have engaged in sheer bravado, unbridled arrogance and revisionism, adding: ‘’The media owes it a duty not to allow Nigerians to forget, to say ‘Never Again’ to those who view Nigeria as nothing but a cash cow to be milked to death.’’   (The Sun)

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Rotten Yam Export: APC Senator Wants Ogbeh Arrested |The Republican News

Audu-Ogbeh

Minister Of Agriculture, Audu Innocent Ogbeh

From FRED ITUA, Abuja

Chairman, Senate committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has blamed the federal government, over the rising food crisis in the country. According to the former governor of Nasarawa State, the inability of the Federal Government to plan and make adequate provision for its citizens, are largely responsible for the crisis.

Adamu who spoke to journalists in Abuja at the weekend, also called for the arrest of the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Audu Ogbe and others, over the exportation of yam to the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe.

Speaking on the food crisis, Adamu said the country lacks statistics of the number of citizens and can therefore not plan adequately for them. He said the executive must sit down and make the right estimate on what Nigerians need.   (The Sun)

Details later…

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Despite Agitation, Nigeria Won’t Break Up, Says Gowon |The Republican News

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Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd)

Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan

A former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, on Monday, said despite the agitations in the country and other developments threatening the unity of Nigeria, the nation’s youths would keep the nation together.

Gowon spoke at the 50th-anniversary programme of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, a forum moderated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

A N152.5m project, executed to encourage youth involvement in agriculture, was also declared open as part of the anniversary.

At the event were the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who represented acting President Yemi Osinbajo; the Oyo State Deputy Governor, Moses Alake, who represented Governor Abiola Ajimobi; and the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji.

Others at the ceremony were the President, African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina; Chief Joe Makoju, who is the Special Adviser to President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; and other dignitaries from across Africa.

Asked if he was scared about the unity of Nigeria, Gowon said, “I am not scared for the unity of the nation. I have confidence in Nigeria and the youths of this country that they will make sure that they take over and do better than we left for them.

“I have no fear that all these rantings and so on, no; I have confidence that the youths of this nation will keep Nigeria going and make it greater. Diversity is our source of unity and strength.”

According to Gowon, Nigeria is at a great disadvantage in agriculture and food production because the average age of its farmers is 60 years.

He stated that there must be concerted efforts to trigger the interest of the nation’s youths in agriculture.

Gowon said, “The average age of farmers in Nigeria is 60 years; soon, they will pass on and that includes me. We have to encourage the younger ones to be interested in agriculture so that they can take over from the older generation that has been feeding the nation. This is what happens in Europe, America and China today and we must encourage it in Nigeria.

“During our time, agriculture was the main thing and plans were made for agro-allied development. We started to clear big areas for agriculture and inviting the federal and state governments, private sectors and even individuals to get involved in agriculture.”

In his speech, Obasanjo urged African countries to increase their interest in all aspects of agriculture and research while effort must be made to engage more women in agriculture.

The former President agreed with Gowon that Nigerian farmers were ageing, saying it was important to make agriculture attractive to the nation’s youths.

He stated, “Looking back, lITA has been a major blessing to the continent of Africa. In the past 50 years, the institute’s research has helped to avert major disasters that plagued African staples, including cassava and maize.”

Obasanjo added that Nigeria must commit itself to growing and eating its own indigenous foods, while also calling on the Federal Government to develop policies that would enable agriculture to grow and thrive.

Osinbajo, who was represented by Ogbeh, said Nigeria was heading for 450 million in population, arguing that feeding such a large population would be tough but possible.

“At over three per cent growth per annum, we are reportedly heading for 450 million persons by the year 2050; but feeding 450 million is tough though not impossible.

“If China and India did it, we too can. So, as we move on, we must reflect on the challenge of the quantity of output and quality of consumption. And to achieve this, we urge you (IITA) to engage in more research,” Osinbajo said.

The AfDB President, Adesina, commended IITA for contributing to agriculture in Africa.

“At the African Development Bank, we have decided to work with amazing institutions to help drive Africa’s agricultural sector transformation. The bank will be investing $24bn in agriculture over the next 10 years to help turn agriculture into a business all across Africa.

“Our goal is to ensure that Africa feeds itself within 10 years and unblocks the full potential of its agriculture,” he said. (Punchng.com)

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