The United Nations through it Food and Agriculture Organisation has described rice production by smallholder farmers in Nigeria as a fantastic job.
It stated that though there were still a lot that should be done in the agriculture sector in Nigeria, the country had made considerable progress in rice production.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, Abebe Haile-Gabriel, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday.
Haile-Gabriel and the FAO Deputy Director of the Office of Emergencies and Resilience, Shukri Ahmed, are in Nigeria on a high-level mission to strengthen solidarity and amplify the voice of humanitarian actors in advocating support to stem food insecurity across the country.
Commenting on the progress in the agriculture sector in Nigeria, the FAO regional representative said, “Nigeria used to be dependent on imported rice.
“But in the past few years, Nigeria has done a fantastic job in the production of rice locally, moving towards self sufficiency.
“So Nigeria has done a lot, it may not be enough but that is why there is a need for partnership to support the efforts of the government.”
The FAO, in a advisory on the visit of its officials to Nigeria, stated that delegation would also reiterate FAO’s commitment, at the highest level, to building resilience of agriculture-based livelihoods to multiple shocks.
It added that the team would speak on FAO’s corporate strategic direction in agrifood systems transformation globally and specifically in Africa.
“The delegation will meet with selected senior government officials in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, UN Heads of Mission and development partners in Abuja,” the organisation stated.
This came as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture in the Office of the Vice President, Andrew Kwasari, told journalists on the sidelines of the event that virtually all the produce of smallholder farmers in Nigeria were not insured.