From Olanrewaju Lawal,Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu says Nigeria can achieve the goal of producing 30million metric tonnes of rice by 2030.
The Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum spoke in Abuja at the launching of the National Rice Development Strategy ll 2020-2030 organized by Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Special Adviser to Governor Bagudu on Media, Mallam Yahyah Sarki confirmed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi.
He said: “this goal of attaining this level of production by 2030 is even modest. This is because of the massive transformation that has taken place in the agricultural sector, especially rice production,” he said.
According to Bagudu, under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, a lot of attention was paid to the rice sector.
He recalled that Buhari has set up a Presidential Task Force on rice and wheat production in Nigeria which he chaired, as well as the National Food Security Council with Buhari as Chairman and himself as Vice Chairman.
He averred that all these were in appreciation of the importance of coordination and cooperation in achieving the objectives.
He said, ” We have moved to about 15 million and we need more to achieve this lofty goal.
“We have seen rapid increase in yields and a rice revolution at the lowest level in farming communities.
“Farmers are now accepting agronomic practices while they are investing in seedlings and appreciating value of adequate inputs.”
According to the Kebbi State Governor, there have also been the evolution of myriad of mega rice mills across the country, with Kebbi State as the fulcrum of rice production.
He also noted that all the states of the defunct north west had 149,000 square meters of land mass capable of producing rice
Bagudu also said that all the 36 States of the federation and FCT have tremendous potentials of rice production.
“We need to do better and mobilise all the potentials in the country to achieve the goal.
“Our rice strategy is consistent with the SDGs of achieving food sufficiency and to eliminate hunger.
“This is also in tune with the goals of the development partners of helping us to feed ourselves.
“This will also improve our trade with others as the world economy was intertwined,” Bagudu averred.