Food Import Bill Drops 38.57% to $4.3bn  Due to Agricultural Transformation Agenda – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has said Nigeria’s food import bill has reduced by 38.57 percent from $7 billion to $4.3 billion annually due to the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). 
The President was speaking at the commissioning of the Olam Rice Mills located in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
The President congratulated Olam Farm Rice for its investment in the Nigerian agriculture sector. He said “these mills are producing high quality local rice that meets international standards, and competes well with imported rice. And don’t forget, Nigerian rice is tastier and healthier than imported rice, because our local rice is fresh from the farm. Let me add that I am also speaking as a proud consumer of our Nigerian rice.”
The administration of President Goodluck Jonathan had embarked on the Agricultural Transformation Agenda from the later part of 2011. According to the President, the goal was to add an extra 20 million metric tons of food to Nigeria’s domestic food supply by 2015. He said progress in this direction has been remarkable. With the innovative electronic wallet system which has empowered 10 million farmers with access to subsidized high quality seeds and fertilizers. “We were the first country in Africa to launch this system that has now assured greater transparency and better productivity in the sector”, he said.
The rice farm is seen as a major step towards the actualization of the government’s plan to be a major supplier of food materials to other African countries while creating jobs for Nigerian youths. You will recall that during the last World Economic Forum on Africa held in Nigeria in May, Agriculture was identified as a major job creator considering the size of arable land in Africa and Nigeria in particular.

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