By Godwin Oritse
There is a strong indication that the Federal Government may soon place total ban on importation of rice, fish and other food items into the country.
Giving the hint in Lagos,the Senior Technical Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; Dr Niyi Odunlami, said that government was desirous of stopping the importation of rice, fish, wheat and tomatoes.
Odunlami spoke as a member of the supervision team visiting staple crops processing zones of the World Bank-assisted Commercial Agriculture Development (CADP) project in Lagos.
He said that the Federal Government was working in partnership with state and local governments as well as Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) to bring infrastructural development to rural farming areas.
”The Federal Government cannot do it alone; it needs the collaboration of states and local governments as well as LCDAs.
”The rural farming areas need to be developed in terms of infrastructure, so as to reduce or possibly eradicate the importation of what can be produced here, such as wheat, vegetable, rice and fish.
“The fish we import is not different from what we can find in the Nigerian waters,” Odunlami said, adding that there is absolute need to develop staple crop processing zones.
Some primary processing zones in the country had been selected as models.
They include Kogi, Kano, Niger, Lagos and Rivers states. The supervisory mission commenced work on Nov. 28, with a visit to the Lagos State Integrated Rice Processing Factory, Imota.