In view of the agricultural progress recorded thus far in the country under the Adesina led Ministry of Agriculture, the Rice Processors Association of Nigeria, (RPAN) has declared its support for Dr. Akinwumi Adesina in his quest to become the next president of African Development Bank, saying the minister would improve Africa’s agricultural fortune.
Chairman of the association, Muhammed Abubakar, while speaking with journalists in Abuja, explained that the Minister, if elected as AFDB President would tackle hunger and malnutrition in the continent by harnessing its agricultural prospects.
“This will be the best thing for Africa. we need a strong, focused and experienced person like him, so that he can concentrate on agriculture. Other advancing continents developed to where they are today due to prospects in their agricultural sector,” he said.
Speaking on the situation of local Rice production in the country, Abubakar said Rice importers who were fighting hard to remain in business had severally attempted to frustrate Nigeria’s fortune in Rice production.
“Those who have been in business in the last six years of importation, you don’t expect them to just fold their arms and watch, so they are fighting to see that Nigeria does not enjoy the success made so far.” He said.
He explained further, “processing cost is high, there is no electricity and cost of transportation makes our production cost a little bit higher, however, the goods that you see in the market, especially the Rice that you feel is cheaper than ours, I assure you that they are smuggled through Cotonou, but if they bring the Rice through the proper channel and pay the normal duty, it cannot be cheaper than local production, maybe they will be at par.”
“Without this minister, all these developments wouldn’t have been possible, whatever we are able to achieve in Rice production in the country even in the next 50 years, Adesina initiated it and we will be grateful to him, the process put in place by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture should be continued”, he said.
Culled from AgroNigeria