Agric Minister inspect projects in Bayelsa, reiterates commitment on agric productivity

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri has reiterated the federal government’s commitment towards the diversification of the economy through agriculture.

He stated that the commitment would boost nutrition and food security, increase the local farmer’s income and create more jobs for Nigerian youths.

Shehuri said ‘’President, Muhammadu Buhari is very passionate about the need to grow what we eat and eat what we grow, so as to de-emphasize unnecessary importation of food which constitutes a drain on our foreign exchange.’’

Speaking during the courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri at the Government House, Yenegoa, while on a working visit of some facilities of the ministry in the state, Shehuri stated that ‘’the ministry is fully aware of the peculiar situation in this state that limits Agricultural production by the fact that much of the terrain is often flooded, swampy and ecologically disadvantaged to support crop production to the desired commercial level.

“However, such terrain if properly harnessed, developed and managed will become an asset for Rice Production as well as other exotic fruits and vegetables that already abound.’’

The Minister pointed out that ‘’some cash crops such as oil palm and raffia palm have great potentialities for development in the state, hence the Ministry believes that Bayelsa State is not only blessed as an oil-producing state but one of the states that can also contribute to the diversification of the economy through Agriculture.

Shehuri said the diversification agenda of the present Administration is one of the cardinal policies, aimed towards achieving nutrition and food security, reducing the poverty rate and creating more jobs for Nigerians

He emphasized that ‘’there are various Interventions and Infrastructural supports that the Ministry have either completed or are still on-going in the state; therefore, I am here to see these projects and appraise the extent to which these projects have been able to complement the efforts of the State Government at ensuring that the good people of Bayelsa State, especially the Rural Communities, have access to quality life.’’

The Minister identified some of the projects fully funded and completed by the ministry to which includes the Mini-Water Treatment Plants in Sagbama, Paved Road Networks and Solar Street lights in different part of Rural Communities, other projects of interest are re-stocking of lakes and water bodies, the establishment of the Fish processing plant, as well as, Live Bird Market in Yenagoa.

In his remarks, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Sen Douye Diri said that the state has huge potentials in fish farming “if properly tapped will feed the state and the entire nation, and as such.”

The Governor proposed partnership and collaboration with the Federal Government in other to boost the fish production value chain.

He pointed out that the state has planned to massively invest in rice production, which will yield dividends by the end of the year.

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