The Federal Government, on Tuesday, disclosed that it has set-up a National Rice and Wheat Task Force to monitor the results of rice and wheat production in the country.
Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant-Media & Publicity to the Vice President, quoted his principal to have said this during the inauguration of the committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“What we are trying to achieve is that agriculture is our main stay and we are trying to evolve a strategy for our economy, a strategy for employment and a strategy for feeding our people”, VP Osinbajo said.
The Vice President noted that agriculture was one of the main focus of the President Buhari administration. “Rice and wheat is our main focus, and making sure that in one year we can show the world that we are serious.”
Osinbajo laid out development bench marks for the committee, which include:
i. to set up production targets for rice and wheat in the participating states;
ii. to determine the scope and particulars for government support needed towards the attainment of the set targets;
iii. to consider and proffer the best off-take and marketing arrangements that will encourage maximum effort among the farmers/millers;
iv. to determine the rice and wheat value chain deficiencies and recommend solutions for addressing them;
v. to mobilize farmers and millers in identified target states to engage the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme and other available support facilities;
vi. to establish timelines for the delivery of goals set by the Task Force.
Members of the task force include: Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu (Chairman of the Task Force), Governors: Abubakar A. Bagugu, Dr. A. U. Ganduje of Kano State, and Engr. David Umahi of Ebonyi State. Others are the Minister of State for Agriculture Lokpobiri Heineken, the President of Rice Farmers Association Mallam Aminu Goronyo and the President Wheat Farmers Association Saliu Mohammed.