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Farmers have made Nigeria self sufficient in food – Buhari

Says Nigeria’s economy can’t crash again President Muhammadu Buhari says farmers have led Nigeria to self-sufficiency in food production by saving billions of dollars yearly,…

  • Says Nigeria’s economy can’t crash again

President Muhammadu Buhari says farmers have led Nigeria to self-sufficiency in food production by saving billions of dollars yearly, instead of spending such money on food importation.

The president, in a goodwill message at an event to mark Farmers’ Day in Obie, Rivers State, organized by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, described Nigerian farmers “authentic heroes, not only for today, but for tomorrow and evermore.”

In release by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari added that such funds were now being deployed to other development projects, particularly infrastructure.”

Buhari said with agriculture, the country’s economy won’t crash again when oil prices crash in the international market, adding that  the federal government would take precautions against bad harvest.

“We made our priorities clear from the beginning, we want to secure our country so that it can be efficiently managed, we want to curb corruption and revive the economy.

“Agriculture is one of the veritable ways to economic recovery, it guarantees employment to millions of our people, particularly the youth, engenders better living standards, enhances the income of people, and ensures food security. This, in turn, will improve the security situation in the land,” he said.

The president, who said farming had brought fortunes to millions of Nigerians who embraced it, added that the real wealth of the country lies in farming, livestock, forestry and fisheries.

He thanked the organisers of event and recounted what the government had done over the last four years.

“As I have said on occasions in the past, what would we have done as a nation, if God had not been kind to us, giving us good and abundant rainy season and good harvests in the past four seasons?

“As at 2015, our economy was in such perilous state with oil prices crashing internationally, and so many challenges nationally and locally. In fact, our country was in a desperate state.

“We then decided to put the modest resources we had where our mouth was. We focused on agriculture, and God heard our prayers. And we got good returns from our investments.

“We appealed to Nigerians to return to the land, and take up farming seriously again. They heeded our call, and have not regretted it since then. The theme of this Farmers’ Day is ‘Farm and Fortune’ and I must say that it is a well thought out theme.

“It is gratifying that farmers have responded positively to initiatives by government to empower and strengthen their hands. Through the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the fertilizer initiative, and many others, government gives supports to our farmers, and you have responded positively, to the good of our country.

“When floods caused havoc to farmlands last year, we responded by giving financial support to affected farmers. We will continue to stand by you.”

He added, “Let me also commend the Nigerian Agip Oil Company for organizing this Farmers’ Day, something the company has done consistently for 30 years. In its own way, Agip has empowered, encouraged and celebrated farmers in 300 host communities in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Imo states. I urge big companies and high net-worth individuals to emulate such example,”the president added.

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