Food security: FG stops Sale of Silos

The Minister of Agriculture, Mr Audu Ogbe, disclosed this today  in Abuja at a town hall meeting organised by the Ministry of Informational and Culture.
Ogbe said that the silos with the capacity of two million tons of grains would be used to store the commodities which are currently being exported to West African nations by farmers.
Responding to questions on looming food shortage due to alarming rate of exportation of grains by farmers to neighbouring countries, the minister said government cannot stop the trend.
He explained that as member of ECOWAS and signatory to the Commission’s Free Trade Agreement, it will be illegal for the country to stop the exportation.
“Government cannot stop such exportation but rather would store grains in its silos,’’ he said.

The minister further noted that stopping exportation of grains would amount to depriving farmers from having huge returns.
“You are telling the farmers to grow food over the years, they have done so and their returns have been very low but for the first time they are making money and they are happy.
“People come from Ghana to buy maize, they come from Mali to buy sorghum and millet and so on and we are monitoring but we cannot stop them
“This is the best incentive you can give somebody in any line of business that there is a market and there is profit,’’ he said.
The minister said to ensure food security in the country and also have reserve for export, government will from January 2017 intensify irrigation farming for production of grains thrice in a year.
He added that about 10 irrigation lakes or dams would be built in every state to enable growing of food all year round.
He decried the situation where states like Oyo, Kano and Ogun were having 22, 23 and 12 dams respectively but none of them were being used for irrigation.
The minister attributed the challenge facing the country to the abandonment of agriculture for over 30 years. 


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