The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, has stated at the opening ceremony of the 42nd regular meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development in Port-Harcourt, Rivers state that plans are underway to set up 200 rice mills across Nigeria.
He also revealed that government would also begin the distribution of processing machines to women and youths to fight unemployment in the country. He said “A new programme of Agro-industrialization is going to happen in the states; young people, women, elders who are interested will receive machines, we will subsidize at 60%, you can set up your oil mill, set your rice mill, set up cassava mills, set up yam flour mills, do whatever you can in the village; we don’t all have to migrate to the cities to survive. “There are two-hundred rice mills we are about to give out and every state must have one”, he added.
Regarding fertilizers, Mr. Ogbeh said: “We have given you a formula for every state. I am still very disappointed when I see some states are ordering fertilizer NPK 15-15-15. There is no soil in Nigeria that can accept the same amount of potassium phosphates and nitrogen; soils differ”.
Mr. Ogbeh also tasked state commissioners of Agriculture to include school farms in their plans, saying that “I want to ask you to include this in your agenda for the schools; the boarding schools in your states have to re-introduce school farms. Let the children learn how to grow chickens, let them learn to grow tomatoes even for the kitchen, learn to process something and when you start we will see what help we can get for you.”