Nigeria has been leading a leading global producer of yam, palm oil, cassava, maize, and rice for the past three years, according to the Federal Government.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammed Mahmoud, revealed this information on Tuesday.
“It is remarkable that in the past three years, Nigeria has taken a leading role globally in cassava, yam, maize, palm oil and rice production,” Mr Mahmoud said at the maiden edition of the National Agribusiness Stakeholders and Investment Summit in Abuja.
“We are currently the largest producer of rice in Africa with a production level of over nine million metric tonnes from 2019. The Federal Government is investing in the development of additional 10 large-scale integrated rice mills across the country.”
The minister added that Nigeria’s agricultural potential was immense, with over 84 million hectares of arable land of which 40 per cent was cultivated, in addition to its population of over 200 million, making it Africa’s largest market.
“Their combined minimum capacity is 320MT per day, which when completed will enhance Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in rice production.”
The minister pointed out that the agricultural sector currently contributes 24.14 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and 75 per cent of the total non-oil exports.
“It is notable that through various empowerment support initiatives in
production, processing and marketing of agricultural commodities, we have lifted a total of 4,205,576 Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years,” Mr Mahmoud noted.