We are committed to achieving self-sufficiency in local staples within shortest possible time – Audu Ogbeh

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has stated that the Federal Government is committed to achieving self-sufficiency in Nigeria’s local staples within the shortest possible time.

Chief Audu Ogbeh stated this at the second group meeting of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review Committee 2030, chaired by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, held in Abuja on Tuesday, 4th October, 2016.

The Minister further stated that, “This is to meaningfully address the threat of hunger, malnutrition and poverty for the achievement of sustainable development goals.”

He said that this is part of the vision of this administration in moving the agriculture sector forward, which is encapsulated in the Green Alternative policy, launched in August 2016. He added that, rather than reversing them, the Green Alternative consolidated on past policies and programmes of past administrations in Nigeria.

The Minister stated further that “We are also working on steps to modernize our agricultural practices, phenomenally increase agricultural yields through the adoption of high-yielding seed varieties, and emplace a virile system to secure standardization and quality assurance of our agricultural produce to enable us earn foreign exchange through zero reject of our agricultural/non-oil exports, especially in Europe and the rest of the world.”

Some of the steps already taken towards the realization of these objectives, according to the Minister, include putting in place enduring programmes and projects for sustained interventions along agricultural value chains to improve agricultural efficiency, productivity and competitiveness; establishment of a standing inter-ministerial technical committee on zero reject of agricultural commodities and produce/non-oil exports in Nigeria; improved standardization, quality control and quality assurance and the formulation of a programme on Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise (LIFE) to enhance the living conditions of rural dwellers, especially women, youth and children.

Other strategic interventions include formulation of strategies to improve cottage industries to reduce post-harvest losses and improve coldroom chain development; development of commodities value chain and creation of agro-industrial hubs in partnership with State Governments, the private sector and renowned international financial institutions, to facilitate the export of agro commodities.