The Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh has claimed 90 percent of rice consumed in Nigeria is locally produced.
The Minister said this during the Annual Research Review and Planning meeting which took place at the Balarebe Tanimu conference Hall at the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, Kaduna State.
Audu Ogbe was represented by the Director of Extension Services in the Ministry, Karima Babangida.
He said local rice farmers were able to achieve this feat as a result of the backings they received from the present administration of President Buhari.
He said: “One very good example that we see today is the home-grown Nigerian rice. Hitherto, Nigeria has been a major and largest importer of rice from Thailand and this implies the largest importer in the world.
“But today, we have been able to achieve a paradigm shift in the right direction and we are now producing 90 percent of the rice we eat in the country, I think we should appreciate our farmers here.
“Nigeria does not only have the capacity to feed itself, it also becomes a major actor in agricultural exports to other African countries, Europe and American countries, including the Far East, especially China.”
According to him, other sectors of the agriculture economy are witnessing the same trend and that with joint efforts of stakeholders, the country can achieve a balance of trade in food items.
He pointed out the need for all stakeholders to collaborate to continue to develop the great potential in the country.