Nigeria Spends N1trn On Food Imports Annually – FG


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Abuja—Massive importation of food, especially, rice, wheat, sugar and fish, has continued to bleed
the nation’s economy, with the four items
accounting for a whopping N1 trillion loss to the
nation annually.

Executive
Secretary,
Agricultural
Research Council
of Nigeria, ARCN,
Prof. Baba Abubakar,
disclosed this at a sensitization seminar on
Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs, and
Agricultural Biotechnology, organised for staff of
Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development by Biotechnology Development Agency, in collaboration with other OFAB and
National Bio-safety Management Agency, in Abuja,
yesterday.

Abubakar, who was represented by the Acting
Director, Partnership and Linkages Programme,
Yarama Ndirpaya, noted with dismay that Nigeria
had remained a large food importer, in-spite of
massive uncultivated agricultural land across the
country.

He said: “Nigeria spends over N1 trillion on the top
four food imports annually. And farmers have
limited capacity and use techniques that adversely
affect soil fertility, water and biodiversity. Human-
induced climate change compounds the issue.”

According to him, Nigeria is the largest importer of
US hard red and white wheat worth N635 billion
annually; world’s number 2 importer of rice at
N356 billion; N217 billion on sugar and N97 billion
on fish.

Abubakar, who described the development as
unacceptable, further noted that Nigerian farmers
had limited capacity and used techniques that
adversely affected soil fertility, water and
biodiversity and warned that unless farmers were
empowered with biotechnology, the problem might linger into the future.

Applying the principle of total productivity factor,
TPF, he revealed that of Nigeria’s 98 Mha land, 74
Mha, representing 75 per cent was good for
farming, but lamented that less than half was put to
use.

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