The minister of agriculture and rural development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has said that the country could
put the growing population into good
use by increasing local production of food crops.
The minister posited that Nigeria’s population which
would grow to 200
million people by the year 2020 could be an advantage for food production if the country could
hasten to take the agriculture sector
to the level of China, India, and other nations of the western world.
Ogbeh said, “In four years time our population will be 200 million people and we can put that
population into good use if we have the
capacity and become more organised like the Chinese or
The minister made this known when he received in audience a delegation from the Kingdom of The
Netherlands led by its
Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr John Groffen in his office. He maintained that there is an urgent
need for the country to grow more food crops in order to
meet the demands of its growing population and seek for more support from the international community towards
the sustainable development of
the agriculture sector.
According to him, the sector would require
international support in its programmes and initiatives, such
as the cattle breeding improvement,
climate change, standardisation and
certification of food products, seed development and
capacity building, among others.
Ogbeh further sought the assistance of The Netherland
Government on area of machineries that could convert shafts from rice mills in the
country to briquettes for household uses, adding that the
present administration was poised to take life back to the rural areas, mostly for women and the youths. He stated that the ministry was working in
collaboration with other relevant
ministries, like the ministries of works, environment, water
resources and industry, trade and
investment, to grow and develop the sector.
Earlier, The Netherlands’
Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr John
Groffen who led the delegation said that the purpose of their visit was to explore
areas of collaboration with the ministry, describing the
challenges facing the nation’s agricultural
sector as enormous. He stated that
Nigeria and The Netherlands which had in existence a
business relationship would now enjoy
enterprises with an assurance that varied opportunities
inherent in Nigeria’s agricultural sector
would be showcased to potential investors in The Netherlands.
He assured the ministry of the
continued support of The Netherlands
Government in up-scaling the growth of Nigeria’s agricultural