Nigerians must stop paying mere lip service to agriculture, as crude oil and gas exports will no longer be sufficient as the country’s major revenue earner, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
The president made the call during an audience with Kanayo Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in his Abuja office on Friday.
“It’s time to go back to the land. We must face the reality that the petroleum we had depended on for so long will no longer suffice. We campaigned heavily on agriculture, and we are ready to assist as many want to go into agricultural ventures,” he added.
Buhari pledged that his administration would also cut short the long bureaucratic processes that Nigerian farmers had to go through to get any form of assistance from government.
He told the IFAD chief that improvement of the productivity of farmers, dry season farming and creative ways to combat the shrinking of the Lake Chad will also receive the attention of his administration.
According to the president, foreign exchange will be conserved for machinery and other items needed for production instead of using it to import things like toothpicks.
Nwanze had earlier congratulated Buhari on his victory at the general elections and assured him that IFAD was ready to give all possible assistance to the government and Nigerian farmers to boost agricultural production in the country.
Nwanze said IFAD had since 1985 been providing loans and grants in the nation’s agricultural sector to boost agricultural production.
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