The Federal Government is putting structures in place with a view to stopping rice importation by 2015, an official said on Monday.
Mr Amos Afowowe, Deputy Director, Agro-Processing and Marketing, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, said this in Kaduna when he paid a courty visit to Gov. Patrick Yakowa.
Afowowe said he was in the state to explore the possibility of the state hosting the Staple Crop Processing Zone.
''Nigeria has been spending much on agriculture and by 2015, Nigeria must stop the importation of rice.
He noted that said the country had the natural, human and material resources to achieve this goal.
According to him, stopping rice importation will improve the nation’s economy, provide job opportunities and boost local production.
In his response, Yakowa commended the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, for his efforts to transform the nation's agricultural sector.
Yakowa noted that one of the outcomes of the recent meeting with stakeholders in the agricultural sector in Washington, U.S., was the proposed establishment of the Ferguson Tractor Companies to be located in Kaduna and Port Harcourt.
The governor called for the utilisation of the country's vast land mass for agricultural purposes such that the much resources being used for rice importation, would be utilised for other vital sectors.
``Most pre- and post-independent development in Nigeria were made possible through agriculture.’’
Yakowa decried the absence of agro-processing and marketing outfits, say that the situation posed a challenge to Nigerian farmers.
He said the state government would improve the performance of the agriculture sector, to provide jobs for the teeming youths in the state.