By CHRIS EKEKE, Abuja
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has said the invaluable health benefit of the
Nigerian home grown rice cannot be overemphasized saying that it contains all the vital food nutrients that the body requires to stay
healthy and strong.
He said comparatively the foreign rice are of far lower quality to the home grown rice. He stated this when the Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO) representative in Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma visited him in his office in Abuja as he resumed office in Nigeria.
Speaking further the minister said, “Agriculture is the most important sector in the Nigerian economy. More so, with the dwindling oil price the present administration of President Buhari is committed to redirecting Nigerians back to traditional agriculture and also
determined to improve on mechanized farming from subsistence farming to enhance increase productivity”.
The minister stressed the importance of collaborative partnership with the FAO. He said such partnership with technical support from FAO will greatly facilitate the achievement of the strategic objective of the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP) 2016-2020.
The minister also talked about replicating the enviable success story of the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) to the rest of the African continent noting that this will encourage increase in the number of farmers and specifically increase productivity.
.”Our young fabricators who are gaining more prominence in the fabrication of fishery facilities here In Nigeria will be of great
assistance to other African countries through the collaborative efforts of Nigeria and FAO “.
Earlier the visiting FAO Representative to Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma, said he looks forward to strengthening all the alliances and build new ones in order to record success in the agriculture sector. Koroma said he will be reviving the quarterly meetings alongside the
implementation of key projects that will satisfy the mandate of FAO and Nigeria collaborative efforts. He also said he will be taking
stock of achievements made.