As delegation tours Kano rice mills
By Abdulyassar Abdulhamid
The delegation of Federal Government led by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, in continuation of its assessment of the impact of border closure on domestic food production, was in Kano on Thursday.
The delegation which comprised of the representatives of the Nigerian Customs Service, the Police, the Army, Airforce, Immigration, DSS, NSCDC, toured Al-hamsad , Kura, and Kumza Rice Mills all in Kano.
Kano State was the third port of call as the delegation was at Seme, Ogun State on November 20 and at Jibiya, Katsina State on Monday.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Ganduje of Kano State, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, said that based on the team’s assessment the exercise has a positive impact on domestic food production especially rice farmers and rice millers.
Mohammed said: “The closure drill has impacted positively on rice production in the country. Before the drill there were 2 million rice farmers in the country. Six million more have ventured into rice farming.
“From twice a year rice cultivation, many farmers are now cultivating three times annually to meet the rising demand for rice. And if the trend continues the number of rice farmers will hit 18 million in no time.”
The minister added that as the exercise is yeilding more positive result more youth are venturing into related business like buying and packaging rice.
He added: “The drill has significantly reduce smuggling giving the entire rice production in the country. In a week of the start of the exercise, many rice mills resumed production and recalled workers.”
In his remarks, Governor Ganduje said that the Federal government has demostrated political will needed for self-sufficiency in food production, as past administrations couldn’t achieve similar successes.
Ganduje said: “Due to conspiracy by few individuals, many attempt had been foiled. But with good wills of President Buhari, he did not waste time. Now business is not as usual. If we want to feed ourselves we must go back to farm, simple. What is needed is the right policy.”
He added that his administration has created a level playing field for farmers and millers for the sustainability of the policy.
He added: “We decided to hold a stakeholders meeting with praticing farmers. We learnt from the meeting what the farmers needed for the business to succeed.
“We were able to revive, invograte and promote our abondoned fertilizer industry that it now works 24/7 to encourage farming and to subsidize farming.”