The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has disclosed the resolve of the ministry to undertake a Labour Intensive Family Enterprise (LIFE) programme to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.
Chief Ogbeh made this disclosure at an interactive meeting he held with the House Committee on Rural Development on Thursday, 10th December, 2015, at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.
The Minister who stated the need to create wealth, assured Nigerians that in two to three years to come, Nigeria would be self-sufficient in rice and other good quality foods. He however condemned the smuggling of imported and adulterated foods and products into the country through the Seme and Cameroon boarders.
Chief Ogbeh revealed that cattle breeding programme, expanding Cocoa Production in 26 states and planting of half a million seeds of Ogbono (Bush Mango) which is in high demand in the United States are part of the ministry’s programs. He said government would engage in the production of jute bags which is expected to generate employment for 5000 Nigerians.
The Minister explained that it has become very imperative to build a vast grassland for cattle grazing to restrict the movement of cattles so as to reduce the incessant conflicts between herdsmen and farmers.
Chief Ogbeh said the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) would soon be restructured, saying the lawmakers should expect a bill to that effect at the National Assembly. This gesture is expected to ensure that farmers have access to affordable loan at low interest rate.
He said the ministry has so many challenges among which was the
N42 Billion it owed Agro-Input dealers and solicited the support of the lawmakers on legislation that he said would protect the people and the country, while also assuring them on the will of government in enforcing the laws.
In the remarks of the Chairman, House Committee on Rural Development, Hon Oladipupo Adebutu, agriculture he said should be seen as the future of the nation.
Honourable Adebutu said the problem of Nigeria is food and poverty. He therefore pledged the support of the committee to the ministry.
Tony Ohaeri – Director Information/Protocol
December 11, 2015