“When I was Nigeria’s head of government, whether as military head of state or as elected president, the progress we made in agriculture and food security was because I personally sat at the driver’s seat,” he said. “I recall that when I was the military head of state, we had a programme called ‘Operation Feed the Nation’ to improve agriculture and enhance food production. And we made some appreciable progress.”
He stated that his administration increased the cocoa production of the country from 150,000 metric tonnes to over 400,000 metric tonnes within five years. He also noted a similar improvement in cassava production from 30 million tonnes to 60 million metric tonnes within the same period.
“We were self-sufficient in the production of agricultural produce such as poultry, rice and vegetable oil. However, when we left government and our successor came in, they set up a presidential task force for the importation of rice; not for the production of rice.
We need to find a better way not to harm ourselves; a way to consistently, continually and, indeed, continuously promote food security in Africa.” he said.