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Afe Babalola varsity to hold rice summit

The founder of the fasted growing private University in Africa, Aare Afe Babalola has disclosed the intention of the University, Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) to hold Agricultural summit before the year ends.

Are Afe who made the disclosure at the weekend during the visit of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh , to ABUAD’s farm and Ekiti State government in Ado Ekiti said the intention is to expose Ekiti potentials in production of the commodity
He however commanded President Mohammodu Buhari’s  administration for bringing revolution to the country’s agriculture sector that had been neglected by successive governments, describing the current economic recession as a blessing in disguise.
“To support the Federal Government’s initiative, this university for the past three years have been holding annual Afe Babalola Agriculture EXPO(ABAFEX), where we give N1m to the best farmer in Ekiti and N250,000 to the best in 16 local governments.
“This year, we intend to hold Rice summit with intention to expose Ekiti potentials in the production of rice,” Babalola said.

Ealier, the Minister had disclosed that the present administration under President Buhari will stop importation of rice in 2017.

While explaining the reason behind the policy, Ogbeh hinted that the country
has enough internal production that can sustain home consumption and
meet foreign exchange earnings that can guarantee diversification of
the economy.

In order to further boost internal production of the commodity and
enhance the country’s comparative advantages in rice and yam
production , Ogbeh stated that the federal government will sign a
memoranda of understanding with Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti
(ABUAD) and Ekiti State Government in the two critical sectors .

He also unveiled his Ministry’s intention to supply ABUAD with 20 tonnes of rice seedlings in the next planting season to boost rice production internally.

Ogbeh said the current economic recession being experienced under
Buhari’s government has helped the federal government to think
outside the box and had succeeded in bringing the deserved revolution
to agriculture sector .

The Minister assured Nigerians that the skyrocketing prices of foods
in the country will soon crash, saying specifically that that of rice
will happen within the next two weeks.

“Of recent, prices of diesel increased from N130 pr litre to about
N280 which makes the cost of a tractor to move up to N14 million from
N7 million . The interest rate on every loan given to farmers also
went up, so the aggregate of all these factors caused increase in
the prices of food items.

“We are concerned with the plights of Nigerians. We knew that many are
hungry but we are working round it because it doesn’t speak well of
us that we are in government and people are hungry.

“But the major challenge is that Nigerians produced children more than
other Africa nations put together and youths are not interested in
farming and the question now is that, who will feed all these
children?

“Nigeria has about 150million population and if these people can’t be
fed with food, then they will be fed with anarchy and chaos”, Ogbeh
warned.

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