By Tony Nwanne
The federal government has lamented that the importation of four different foods such as rice, wheat, sugar, and fish are the main items that cost the country N1 trillion loss annually.
The federal government, through the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, ARCN, Prof. Baba Abubakar, also said that Nigeria is the largest importer of US hard red and white wheat worth N635 billion annually; world’s number 2 importer of rice at N356 billion; N217 billion on sugar and N97 billion on fish.
Abubakar disclosed this on Thursday at a sensitization seminar on Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs, and Agricultural Biotechnology, organised for staff of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development by Biotechnology Development Agency, in collaboration with other OFAB and National Bio-safety Management Agency, in Abuja.
Abubakar, who was represented by the Acting Director, Partnership and Linkages Programme, Yarama Ndirpaya, noted with dismay that Nigeria had remained a large food importer, in-spite of massive uncultivated agricultural land across the country.
He said: “Nigeria spends over N1 trillion on the top four food imports annually. And farmers have limited capacity and use techniques that adversely affect soil fertility, water and biodiversity. Human-induced climate change compounds the issue.” According to him, Nigeria is the largest importer of US hard red and white wheat worth N635 billion annually; world’s number 2 importer of rice at N356 billion; N217 billion on sugar and N97 billion on fish.