THE Minister of Agriculture and
Rural Development, Chief Audu
Ogbeh, has lamented the
exorbitant amount Nigerians spend on importing food into
the country, saying that the total amounts to $20b per year.
Making the disclosure at the closing of the 41st National Council on Agriculture held at
Kano Government House, the minister expressed worry over
this over-dependence of Nigerians on foreign food.
According to Ogbeh, many things were responsible for the
downturn in the agricultural sector in the country, saying that programmes like Udoji of the 1970s were responsible for
some of the tragedies facing the agricultural sector in the country.
He said that “It was Udoji programme that made people
run away from farms and pursued to become contractors.”
Condemning what he described as ‘elite arrogance’ in the nation’s agricultural sector, Ogbeh
assured farmers across Nigeria that his ministry would work hand in hand with them in the
formulation of policies affecting
agricultural development in the
He called on commissioners of
agriculture attending the conference from the 36 states of the federation to put more pressure on their governors to
ensure that modern ways of agricultural development were
employed in their various states.
Noting that irrigation should be looked into as a way to address
problems associated with cattle rearing, the minister said that the simple solution to cattle rearing was to grow grass and feed
“We should not depend on using improved grass from
Brazil, Argentina and other places. I am also advising all on
engaging in cattle rearing modern mechanism.”
The governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, assured all farmers in the state that his
administration would do everything possible to help
develop agricultural sector for both local and foreign advantages.