Against the backdrop of the assurance by President Muhammadu Buhari that the current economic recession being experienced by the country will be over soon, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has stated that hunger as well as the recession will last longer than expected.
Ogbech, however, noted that the situation might be salvaged if Nigeria pursues farming vigorously.
Speaking during the ‘One man, One hectare’ demonstration in Ezillo, Ebonyi State, the Minister blamed past administrations for the development, stating that they were responsible for the present predicament.
He said, “Past administrations in the country depended wholly on oil and resorted to massive importation. The country imported virtually every item; from toothpicks to palm produce but, the country doesn’t have money again to import.
“The hunger in the land might last for a while, but soon, there will be enough food in the country and also for export.”
He noted that the effort of the Federal Government in vigorously pursuing farming would be unrelenting.
He said, “Government will provide machines for Ebonyi State for the harvesting of rice and other farm produce and those to prepare crop nursery before planting.
“The Federal Government will inaugurate dams in all states of the country in the next two years, to ensure all year farming activities.
“All political office holders in the executive and legislature have farmlands in this demonstration farm as the programme would be the order of the day in the state.
“We want to excel in palm produce sector as we have done in rice production, as we are going to plant the produce at 10 metres of verges of roads in state and federal roads.
“All citizens of the state would cultivate at least one hectare because the government did not want any land to lie fallow,” the Minister added.
In his remark, the Governor of the state, David Umahi, noted that the state was into agricultural revolution to make its economy self-sufficient.