"Our paddy rice production has grown by an additional 7m metric tonnes within three years. This is remarkable but we have to work even harder still," he said at the commissioning of the
Jonathan, while speaking on the need to upgrade the SCPZs, directed the ministers of agriculture, power and water resources to give immediate priority towards developing roads, power, water and gas supply as a means to ensuring easy movement as well as reducing the costs of agriculture and agro-businesses to be extended to all SCPZs.
President Jonathan assured that his government was committed to ensuring food sufficiency in rice production as a priority. "
He noted that as a strong private sector responds to our rice policy, the integrated rice mills have grown from 1-18 functional integrated mills producing high-quality rice which meets with international standards and can compete with imported ones, adding that the private sector is key to achieving our transformation agenda and agriculture and rice production cannot be an exception.
The president said he was speaking as a proud consumer of the nation's local rice as, in the State House, it is only the Nigerian rice that is served. He added: "Our goal of making
"The current investment of over
Speaking in his welcome address, minister of agriculture and rural development Dr
He said the farmers growing the improved varieties had increased from 136,000 in 2012 to 1.9 million by the wet season of 2013 and 3 million farmers by 2014. "Today, over 50 per cent of the rice farmers cultivate these new varieties in the wet season while 100 per cent of them cultivate them in the dry season."
Akinwumi revealed that since the president launched the ATA in 2011,
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