President Muhammadu Buhari said that the efforts of his administration to grow non-oil exports have started to yield some results as Nigeria’s revenue from cocoa and sesame seed grew by $79.4 million and $153 million in the past year.
He disclosed this in his speech during a national broadcast to commemorate the country’s Democracy Day, emphasizing that agriculture remains the key to Nigeria’s economic diversification strategy.
He reported that 31 blending plants had been revived and affordable and high-quality fertilizers were being continually delivered to farmers through the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) program.
The PFI program, established by President Buhari in 2016, and placed under the chairmanship of Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, was designed to enhance the availability of fertilizer to farmers at affordable prices.
The program aims to stimulate local production of NPK fertilizer through the resuscitation of moribund fertilizer plants, reviving the local blending fertilizer industry.
President Buhari said the nation’s gross domestic product grew from 1.91 percent in 2018 to 2.27 percent in 2019, but sank to 1.87 percent in the first quarter of 2020 following weakened global economic activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Through the food security initiative, we are promoting ‘Grow What We Eat and Eat What We Grow.’ I am also delighted that more and more Nigerians are taking advantage of the opportunities in the agriculture and agri-business sector.
“I assure you that government will continue to support the Agriculture sector through the CBN Anchor Borrowers Programme and similar schemes., We are also integrating rural communities to the formal economy by extending access to credit and inputs to rural farmers and building feeder roads,. ”, he said.