As per latest information available, it has been indicated that the Nigerian Government has set up a panel on Tuesday made up of agriculture sector leaders and politicians as part of its attempt to increase rice and wheat production as stated by the official of Vice President's office. Further, it has been revealed that the West African country is the world's second largest importer of rice and among the biggest buyers of U.S. wheat. Now the Government has aims to reduce its annual food import bill of $20 billion and to create jobs by boosting the agriculture sector.
Further, in this matter, it has been explained that a panel has been formed whose members include rice and wheat trade union leaders, as well as the agriculture minister. The panel will set up production targets for rice and wheat and to determine the need for government support to establish deadlines for goals to be achieved. Moreover, we are also trying to achieve that the agriculture is our mainstay and trying to evolve a strategy for economy, employment and a strategy for feeding our people, as narrated by the Vice President Mr Yemi Osinbajo. Comments were also made on Tuesday at the launch of the panel, in which the government called it as a "task force".
According to the data available, it was informed that in 2012 Africa's most populous nation imported 2.3 million metric tons of rice, which was highest, as it has been highlighted in U.N. statistics. In addition it also showed that around 4.1 million metric tons of wheat was brought into Nigeria in the same year which is nearly double the amount imported in the year 2000.However, now a policy document reveals that the government aims to be self-sufficient in both rice and wheat production within three years.