Makurdi - The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said on Monday that Nigeria's bill for importing food has reduced from N2.3 trillion to N1.8 trillion annually, saving the country N906 billion.
“Agriculture is vital for Nigerians; that is why the President has made it the centre of his economic transformation agenda.
"When President Goodluck Jonathan made the decision, the goal was meant to add 20 million metric tons of rice to our domestic food supply and create 3.5 million jobs in a period of four years.
"In two years, we have added 15 million metric tonnes of food and food importation has reduced from N2.3 trillion to N906 billion."
He said that the Federal Government has delivered 16 744 tonnes of fertiliser, more than 450 tonnes of hybrid seeds and 738 000 cassava stems to farmers in Benue State.
Adesina added that the Federal Government has also completed two 2 000 tonne capacity warehouses and was committed to developing Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZ) that would enable farmers to add value to their produce, with Benue State as a beneficiary.
He said that the SCPZs, when completed across the country, would add N1.4 trillion to nation's GDP.
The minister said that four agricultural hiring equipment centres would be established in the state, to enable registered farmers to engage in mechanised farming.
He called for greater collaboration among the tiers of government and commended the governor's support for Agricultural Transformational Agenda.
Responding, Suswam assured the minister of the support of his administration and that of the people of Benue.
He said he was pleased with the establishment of SCPZs stressing that with the development would put Benue on the map of development.
He told Adesina that his name would be written in gold in the history of development in the country.
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