Agricultural reforms added N780bn to Nigerian economy as food import declines

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Akinwumi-AdesinaNigeria’s food import bill has declined by N466bn within the last three years, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has said.

According to him, the food import bill declined from N1.1tn in 2011 to N634bn by the end of 2013, adding that the decline had continued.

“Our farmers are seeing the benefits and they are producing more food. Our national food production expanded by an additional 21 million metric tons of food within three years. This is a record in our nation’s history.

“The agricultural transformation agenda has added N780bn to the economy within the past three years. And our aggressive approach to ensure that we process and add value to all our crops is beginning to open up new income streams for our farmers.”

“All bread being consumed in Nigeria now contains cassava flour. And all cakes and confectioneries you eat now contain cassava flour. (What) you are eating everyday therefore (is) cassava bread and cassava cakes. What a change!

“The landscape of cassava in Nigeria has been changed forever. No more will cassava be seen as a subsistence crop for household and village-level processing. Cassava has now become the raw material of choice for the burgeoning bread flour, sweetener, starch, and ethanol markets.

“With these strong growth markets, the teeming millions of our cassava farmers will have a market that will stabilise prices and provide strong incentives to invest in inputs and global best practices to increase their productivity and secure their livelihoods.”

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