The National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer (NC/CEO), NEPAD Nigeria, Princess Gloria Akobundu has said that rice production in Nigeria has increased to 5.8 million tonnes.
The NC/CEO, stated this during the meeting of NEPAD Business Group Nigeria (NBGN) held at the NEPAD Nigeria office, Abuja, today adding that NBGN in collaboration with the Nigeria Rice Investment Forum (NRIF) have contributed immensely to the reduction of importation of rice in the country.
Princess Akobundu, urged the NEPAD Business Group Nigeria (NBGN) to continue to work assiduously to ensure that the rice growing revolution is sustained so as to enhance diversification of our economy through agriculture.
NEPAD Boss, stressed that through the 4Rs – re-launching, re-branding, re-aligning and re-repositioning, the agency has been able to organised empowerment and skills acquisition programmes for women, youths and vulnerable groups in FCT and other states.
According to her, ’’366 participants were trained in beads, cake, soap making, make-up and barbing, and one thousand, three hundred and twenty (1,320) women and youths were trained in climate smart agriculture and modern farming techniques in Owerri, Imo State’’.
She noted that the present administration’s agriculture revolution and economic diversification has yielded to current increase in rice production in Nigeria from 5.5 million tonnes in 2015 to 5.8 million tonnes in 2017 while the GDP has recorded a growth rate of 0.82%.
Princess Akobundu said that NEPAD Nigeria will ensure the successful and achievement of sustainable mass production of rice initiative by the present administration pointing out that such venture will create jobs and food security in the country.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman, NEPAD Business Group Nigeria, Dr. Mrs. Nike Akande, CON, who was represented by Mallam Bala Kwatu, said that the 3rd edition of Nigeria Rice Forum (NRF) will placed emphasis on strategies and steps to achieve the 2018 target for self-sufficiency in rice production.
Mrs. Akande, explained that the initiative of the Group on rice production is based on the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration to diversify the nation’s economy from her over-reliance on crude oil to agricultural sector.
The Chairman, further reiterated that the group will enhance the achievement of the 2018 self-sufficiency target in rice production as well as consolidate on the gains currently made on the sector.
For: A.D (Media Unit)
9th May, 2018.