The new Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Abubakar, has urged Nigerians to buy Nigerian produce to support farmers while committing to prioritising the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
He said this on Thursday during the handing and taking over ceremony at the ministry’s headquarters.
While urging Nigerians to buy Nigeria produce, the new minister emphasised the need for food security, stating that Nigeria has what it takes to be food sufficient as well as the leading producer and exporter of food.
He said, “Buy Nigerian produce wherever you can because that is the way to support our own farmers so that they can continue to produce. We just find out that we can do that because during the border closure, there was sufficient rice.
“Even Mr President eats the same rice. So, there is no reason why we cannot patronize our own farmers. Food security is everything and can make a difference. There is no reason why we cannot do this.
“We have the resources and all it takes to make Nigeria the number one producer and exporter of food and not just in Africa even outside this continent.”
Earlier, he stated that his priority is to advance the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
He said, “The priority of this Ministry under my leadership will be to ensure that we have the necessary policy direction on ground that will truly position agriculture as the mainstay of our economy as captured in the Medium Term National Development Plan, and Mr President’s vision of uplifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“In this regard, the National Livestock Transformation Plan will be the priority due to implication not just by security infiltration but its overall impact is having on insecurity in the country.”
He added that there would be more support for research and extension services to boost the agricultural sector.
“In addition, research and extension services will be strengthened to ensure that best practices are translated into concrete deliverables in the agric and livestock value chains.
“We will start to promote synergies among the agencies and departments of the Ministry.
“Agencies must collaborate and work with relevant stakeholders to achieve our mandate,” he said.
Abubakar concluded that he hopes to do better than the former minister.
The outgoing Minister, Muhammad Nanono, said that he has retired to his farm while appreciating everyone in the ministry for their support.