WorldStage Newsonline– The Federal Government, on Monday, said it had released funds for the construction of 10 large-scale integrated rice mills with 320 metric tonnes capacity per day.
The Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, disclosed this in Abuja at the fifth edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration Scorecard 2015-2017 series.
The scorecard series is organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture to showcase the achievements of the administration in over seven years of being in office.
Presenting the achievements of his ministry, the minister said construction of the ten large scale rice mills was part of the resolve of the administration for the country not only to be self-sufficient in the staple but for export.
He said the location of the mills were Jigawa, Kano, Adamawa, Niger, Kaduna, Gombe, Ekiti, Ogun, Bayelsa and FCT
Abubakar also disclosed that the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative established in 2016 had led to the increase of fertilizer blending plants in the country from eight to 200.
He added that the annual fertilizer production rose from 300 metric tonnes per annum to over 7 million metric tonnes.
The minister added that the ministry constructed and handed over Agribusiness Incubation Centres for training of students in various agricultural value chains.
The beneficiary institutions, according to the minister, were the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University in Katsina State and University of Ibadan in Oyo State.
Others are University of Maiduguri, Borno, Niger Delta University, Bayelsa and University of Abuja (FCT) while the project is ongoing in the Federal Universities of Lokoja, Kogi state and Umudike.
He said the ministry also distributed 14,785 agricultural equipment, materials and tools, groundnut processing machines, cashew processing machines, oil palm processing mills with components.
The minister said they also distributed tractors, combine harvester tricycles for farmers, colour sorter and 2000 Knapsack sprayers to farmers nationwide.
He said there has been a paradigm shift in the agriculture space because of President Buhari’s vision to redirect the economic trajectory of the country by diversifying into agriculture.
The fall out of the paradigm shift, according to the minister, was that agriculture sector contributed 23.2 per cent to the nation’s GDP as at second quarter of 2022.