Prof. Babagan Gambo, while delivering a paper titled “Untangling the Bottlenecks Towards Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation” said smuggling in Nigeria remains a challenge to the country’s efforts at attaining self-sufficiency in the production of rice.
Gambo, a lead consultant on agricultural matters to Nigerian Governors’ forum has said Nigeria can close the gap between rice production and its consumption in three ways- planting of rice in both wet and dry seasons; giving more lands for the production of rice, and non-importation of rice into the country.
The professor also noted that virtually all the states in Nigeria can produce rice and gave statistics to back his claim. He also emphasized the greatest strength of Nigeria is its variability in terms of soil and climate, culture, among others.
Furthermore, the Prof. of Agriculture said it is difficult for Nigerians to be food secured because 79% of her population live below two USD per day. Self-sufficiency, especially in rice production, is one of the ways the Buhari-led administration has tried to lessen pressure on foreign exchange and achieving food security by reducing importation.
However, rice production in Nigeria is said to be characterised by low levels of technology adoption.
The FG has assured that Nigeria will achieve seven metric tonnes of rice production by 2018.
The publisher of PREMIUM TIMES, Dapo Olorunyomi, while adding voice to the event said, “it is no longer enough for journalists to keep a day-to-day report of what the leaders do, Journalists also have a role to play in proffering solutions to the numerous problems ravaging the country.”
Mr. Olorunyomi hinted that what the country needs is a new type of journalism which will be solution based. The symposium on agriculture was organised by Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ) and NIRSAL.