The acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has inaugurated the Presidential Committee/Task Force on Rice and Wheat to facilitate its programme on self-sufficiency in food production.
The inauguration, which took place at the office of the Vice President on Tuesday, was attended by the governors of Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje; Kebbi, Abubakar Bagudu; and Ebonyi, Dave Umahi, as members of the committee.
Other members are the Minister of State for Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri, the president of Rice Farmers Association, and the president of Wheat Farmers Association.
Bagudu, who is the Chairman of the Committee told State House correspondents that the committee’s terms of reference include “identifying all that we need to do in order to make Nigeria self-sufficient in rice and wheat production”.
He said the committee would find out means of stepping up the current efforts to produce both commodities in Nigeria for local consumption and for export.
He added that
We are optimistic that given the current efforts in place across the country, our farmers, and the increasing interest in investing in agriculture by many Nigerians, we should be able to achieve the target within a short time”.
That will lead to our national aspirations and there has been significant achievement in that respect.
Last season, the governor of Kano and myself supported our farmers to produce more wheat.
And wheat farmers have signed an agreement with flour millers which the millers agreed to obtain all that the wheat farmers are able to provide.
We are seeing increasing interest in rice as well; many millers are now willing to work with farmer groups.
The governor observed that President Muhammadu Buhari had always emphasised the importance of farming and farmers to the Nigerian economy and that it was important that they got rewarded for their efforts.
According to Bagudu, the governor of Kano has been doing a lot and it is a model that other rice producing states should copy to attract more investors to the scheme.