As Nigeria’s borders remain closed, Mustapha Shehuri, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development on Saturday reassured farmers on accessibility of better farming equipment and government support.
Shehuri gave the assurance when he visited the Livestock House of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Kaduna.
Shehuri said that the visit was to make sure that the staff and management team were working in line with the objectives of government of improving the farmers capacity toward food production.
Shehuri said that the farming equipment being procured by the ministry would be sold to farmers at 50 per cent discount to improve their production amidst the border closure saga.
“We will make sure the equipment go to the people they are meant for because procurement of the equipment is an investment by the government to achieve its policy of diversification through the agricultural sector.
“With the border closure and diversification policy, we now produce the rice we consume, which is a positive result as against two to three years ago when we were importing 90 per cent of our rice.
“The border closure has now made rice farmers to be smiling to the banks, it has created more jobs, not only on rice but also other commodities that we consume.”
Shehuri described Nigerian farmers as the most hard working people in the country, saying, “they work tirelessly even without assistance from the government to improve the country’s economy.
“We look at agriculture as a business and we assure Nigerians of better jobs from the type of growth that will result from it,” Shehure said.
Responding, the North West Zonal Director of the ministry, Owolabi Mathew described the minister’s visit as a good omen which would enhance the capability of staff of the ministry.
“The visit will help the minister forward our challenges in relations to farmers and suggest viable means of addressing them at the headquarters for development of agricultural sector,” he said.