Thursday, 6 October 2016

Anambra Rice, Ugu Export: Have You Asked "Why Agriculture?" ... Hear Obiano!


In a lecture titled "Understanding the Agricultural Revolution in Anambra State" presented at the Third Adegboyega Awomolo & Associates Annual Colloquium in Abuja on October 4, 2016, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State explained why Agriculture is the Future of Nigeria.
Read him below...
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"It may be important to note that no meaningful conversation on agriculture can take place in Nigeria without remembering that this great country has 91 million hectares of land out of which 84 million hectares are arable. And that only 40% of this 84 million arable land has been cultivated so far. That Nigeria is blessed with 230 billion cubic meters of water. That Nigeria is blessed with the presence of two of Africa’s largest rivers and has abundant rainfall in over two thirds of her territory. I suppose this makes Nigeria a natural habitat for agriculture. No wonder therefore that before we finally allowed ourselves to be lulled to sleep by the flow of crude oil, Nigeria was a global agricultural power, noted as the world’s largest producer of palm oil and groundnuts and the second largest exporter of coca in the 1960s.

"My further research efforts into our agricultural environment revealed that Nigeria is currently ranked as the second largest producer of tomatoes in Africa and the 13th in the world with a production output of 1.701 million tonnes of tomatoes per annum. I also found out that Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of Shea Nuts with 57% contribution to the global output that is valued at $3.8bn dollars. Shea Nuts which are the primary source of Shea Butter are grown in Kogi, Kwara, Oyo, Ondo and Ogun States at the moment. It can be grown in other states of the federation. I also found out that Nigeria consumes 6 million tonnes of chicken in a year but we produce only 1.5 million tonnes. So, any smart investor can see the goldmine that is waiting in poultry and Shea Butter farming. But that is by the way!

"Let me quickly observe that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has done a good job in articulating a brilliant Agricultural Vision for the country. According to them, the vision is to “achieve a hunger-free Nigeria through an agricultural sector that drives income growth, accelerates achievement of food and nutritional security, generates employment and transforms Nigeria into a leading player in global food markets to grow wealth for millions of farmers”.

"Fellow compatriots, it is not hard to see that perhaps driven by this Vision, Nigeria experienced a surge in national food production between 2011 and 2014. Facts from the official website of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture indicate a growth of 21 million metric tonnes which had a significant impact on food imports. Expectedly, during that period, our food import bill dropped from N3.19 trillion in 2011 to N635 billion in 2013, indicating a reduction rate of 403%. It is impressive to note that we recorded this feat in only two years.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I am taking us through all these facts so that we can all see what we left behind in the choice we made in the past and what we can gain from redirecting our gaze to Agriculture as one of the most attractive alternatives to our mono-economic status. Indeed, Nigeria has everything it takes to change her economic narrative and change her history! Interestingly, that is exactly what we are trying to do in Anambra State today" - Willie Obiano, Governor of Anambra State.

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Are you feeling the agricultural revolution in Anambra State?
Be part of this progress... We're #MovingForward!

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