Nigeria will be self-sufficient in rice production by November – Ogbeh

Rice famers

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said the country would be self -sufficient in rice production by November.

This development, he said would force a reduction in the price of the commodity.

He frowned at what he called the people’s unbridled penchant and taste for foreign foods, most of which, he said, were not as healthy and nutritious as those produced locally.

The minister stated this while addressing a town hall meeting on sustainable agriculture, which was attended by farmers, youths, women and other agricultural stakeholders, held at the Oyo State Secretariat, Ibadan, on Tuesday.

The dialogue, which featured question and answer session, was hosted by the state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, and the Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Prince Oyewole Oyewumi.

The meeting, which was called to chart a new path for agriculture, climaxed a two-day working visit by the minister to agricultural facilities, including farms, dams, farm settlements and others across the state.

Ogbeh said: “By November we will be self- sufficient in rice production. We will no longer need to import rice. And let me tell you, our rice is safer, tastier and healthier than the foreign ones.

“Patronize our farmers, eat healthy. Eat Nigerian rice. Another cheering news is that we will soon bring down the price of rice. Nigerians should embrace local products and stop importation of useless things.

“We are a country that has penchant for importation without exporting anything. In fact, some people will even order for pizza from London for delivery by British Airways. They will tell you London pizza tastes better.

“We import champagnes, cookies, toilet papers and even toothpicks. We have this taste for foreign products. This is killing us, it is killing our economy.”