The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has said Nigeria must develop agriculture because the transition from oil to agriculture as the country’s major foreign exchange earner is vital to the country’s survival.
Ogbe disclosed this yesterday when he led the minister of state for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, and other officials of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, on a courtesy call to Rivers State Governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, at Government House, Port Harcourt.
He stated that Rivers State remains critical in the development of agriculture in the country, considering the fact that it hosts the two biggest fertiliser plants in Nigeria, Notore Limited and Indorama Petrochemical Company Limited.
Responding, Rivers State Governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, stated that agriculture should be developed as the country’s next foreign exchange earner in view of dwindling oil prices, pointing out that developing agriculture would generate employment and strengthen the economy.
Wike said, “Agriculture is a critical sector which should be developed as a major foreign exchange earner for the country. Rivers State Government will work with the Federal Government to develop agriculture.”
The governor, who stated that the state government has initiated school farming to encourage youths to be involved in agriculture, said his administration has also extended loans to farmers for greater agricultural production.
He approved the hosting of the 2017 agricultural conference in Rivers State as requested by the Minister of Agriculture.