Food

Nigerian Government to check Food Smuggling 

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The Nigerian Government has said it is working with the Nigerian Customs Service and other agencies to stop the smuggling of food out of Nigeria.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, disclosed this during a working visit to the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan in Oyo State, South-west Nigeria.

Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

 

According to him, there is food security and to sustain it, it is imperative to curtail smuggling of food out of the country.

“One of the things we are doing is dry season farming, which is beginning next month, and we will intensify that.

“We will also make sure that all the agencies that we are working with, the Customs for example, do not allow smuggling of food out of the country.

“This is because we don’t want to have a food shortage. We have no shortage of food right now. I am telling you categorically,’’ said the Agric Minister.

Speaking further, he stated that so much had been done by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in reigniting the agricultural sector, as it is immensely contributing to Nigeria’s GDP.

Expressing his satisfaction in the activities of NIHORT in relation to its mandate, Abubakar explained that Agriculture today is all about research, innovation and science, adding that the Nigerian Government would not cease to increase the capacity of the research institutes.

“In agriculture, as a whole, we are talking about practising smart agriculture, technology-based digital agriculture.

“All research institutes have so much to offer, especially NIHORT.

“I am impressed with the array of products that I am seeing that this institute is producing.

“Just now, I saw an orange tree that will produce three different oranges on one tree, this is amazing, incredible. I am happy to be here.”

“We just got a waiver to employ more researchers, developers and people of science origin, that would help to boost research and development,” said the minister said.

On his part, Dr Muhammed Attanda, the Director and Chief Executive Officer, NIHORT, praised the minister for his unprecedented support, noting that the minister’s kind considerations had enabled the institute to run smoothly and make faster progress.

Atanda also identified some notable achievements by the institute, including approval granted for the provision of a dedicated electricity line to the institute, among others.

“Over the years, inadequate supply of electricity has affected our operations adversely.

“For instance, we recorded losses of large amounts of genetic materials that were vital to our research activities during the days of erratic power supply.

“Your efforts led to the facilitation of the Presidential waiver, that made it possible for the institute to recruit essential personnel to boost its manpower.

“We particularly appreciate this because the institute has not been able to do this in the last seven years.

“We are also grateful for the opportunity provided for the institute to attend the genetic capacity-building and management of gene bank,” he said.

Similarly, Alhaji Salihu Imam, one of the Agriculture Development Project beneficiaries and farmers’ representative in Oyo State, lauded the lofty contributions of NIHORT to agricultural practices in Nigeria.

According to Imam, the institute has been the only agency that gives farmers free field, 20 to 40 hectares, to plant their mandate crops.

 

Source: Agro Nigeria

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