FG’s Agro-industialization will guarantee Food Security- Minister
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono has stated that Agro Industrialization is Nigeria’s key to economic Viability adding that It would reduce the high rate of unemployment, boost the economy, guarantee food security and advance the level of trade and investments in the agricultural sector as a veritable strategy to diversify the economy.
The minister made this known during the South – South Agro – Industrial Inspection / Town Hall Meeting held in Calabar, Cross River State, over the weekend.
Nanono noted that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is presently committed to creating jobs and that the on-going review of agricultural policy is aimed at refocusing on technology and innovation. He pointed out that the nation is on a sure footing towards an agricultural revolution as the government has concluded on a new mechanization strategy that will guarantee quantum leap in productivity.
“This mechanization revolution is going to be kickstarted in 632 Local Government Areas in the next six months across the country and will be private sector driven”, the Minister said.
In the spirit of the Town Hall interaction, Nanono called on individuals and groups to come up with proposals of how to increase the viability of the service centers, adding that the Federal Government will guarantee the facilities.
He assured on the success of the intervention, reminding all present about Nigeria’s strategic advantages: ‘’we have a huge population and massive market which can be primed to achieve the goals and objectives of the mechanization policy”.
The Minister lauded the Governor of Cross River State, Prof (Sen), Ben Ayade and his team for the efforts and investments made to trigger a Green Revolution in the state’s agricultural sector, noting that this is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural policy thrust, geared towards job creation, food sufficiency and overall economic growth.
In his remarks, Prof (Sen.), Ben Ayade noted that under his watch as Governor, Cross River has made huge investments in the agricultural sector. “This is witnessed in our establishment of multifarious agro-allied industries and our desire to make agriculture, rather than dependence on federal allocations, the mainstay of our economy”
The Governor pointed out that “cocoa is one of the foremost cash crops with which Cross River state is abundantly blessed. Our productive capacity in this cash crop has placed us as the second highest producer of cocoa in Nigeria. And desiring not play second fiddle anymore ,we are resolved to commence a radical process that will galvanize our capacities and take us to the premier position in cocoa production in Nigeria within the next 24 months’’.
highlighted some of the giant strides of the state in the agricultural sector. These according to him include; the Green Revolution also known as The G- Money Initiative, the Ojoja Rice Milling Factory, the Ikom Cocoa Processing Factory, not forgetting the Ayade Agro – Industrial Park, among others. ‘’ I enjoin our youths to take advantage of this opportunity, and all Cross Riverians to join us in this crusade to create Green Millionaires’’
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Cross River State, Hon. Okon Owuna thanked the Minister for the State’s selection as a Special Agro-industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) for the South – South Geo- Economic Zone. He indicated that although the SAPZ will be located in Ikom and Ogoja Local Government Areas (LGA), the Project was so structured in a way that will trigger economic growth in other contiguous states.
Key among the agro-industrial investments inspected by the Minister were, the Ogoja Rice Milling Factory, the Ikom Cocoa Processing Factory. In Calabar, the Minister visited the Rice seedling factory, the poultry processing factory and the Garment factory all in the Ayade Industrial Park Complex.
For: Director, Information (FMARD)
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