By Gabriel Ewepu
THE Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, said African countries have become dumping ground for poisonous food which are imported.
Lokpobiri made the assertion during a press conference at the weekend, where he stated that African countries had suffered serious setbacks in the agricultural sector as most food exporters in Europe and Asia have taken advantage of the food crisis, poverty in Africa to ship in food not healthy for human consumption.
He also maintained that the Buhari-led administration will not accept that again in Nigeria, rather will massively invest in the sector and depend on local food producers and processors, because it will be good for the health of Nigerians and save huge money spent on food importation.
The Minister charged young people in the country to embark on agribusiness, because of the huge market and population of people, and also pledged support from the government and development partners to achieve it.
He said: “Africa over the years have become a dumping ground for poisonous food imported from Asia and other continents. Nigeria alone is spending $20 billion annually on food importation.
“The food that passes through the border between Benin Republic and Nigeria are mostly deadly food. Benin Republic people don’t even eat them but allow those commodities to come into our country.
“The frozen chicken contains formalin preservation used for corpses, and the bags of rice from Asia have been in their warehouses for more than 15 years, and have lost nutritional value, which they ship down to Nigerians and other African countries to eat.
“Those countries where these commodities come from are intentionally frustrating our agricultural policies, programmes and farmers. It is an act to kill our economy. We cannot allow these things to continue because is killing our people.”