According to a policy document released by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration seen by Reuters at the weekend, Nigeria will be self-sufficient in both rice and wheat production within three years.
The policy document was circulated among ministers-designates at the two-day retreat with the President. The document also proposes overhauling the mining sector, including efforts to “ensure local and foreign investment” in the industry.
However, the five-page document did not provide details of how the government intends to fund the planned changes in Africa’s biggest economy, which has seen a slowdown in growth.
Buhari has previously stated that long-term plans would be used to encourage local manufacturing in Africa’s largest oil producer, which has been hit by a fall in global crude prices.
“Self-sufficiency in rice production within 24 months” and self-sufficiency in wheat production within 26 months’ are goals in the agriculture section of the document, which also calls for “market guarantees for farm produce.”
About three million tonnes of rice was produced in Nigeria last year, along with 64,000 tonnes of wheat, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) figures show.
Nigeria is the world’s second largest importer of rice and among the biggest buyers of US wheat.
In 2012, it imported 2.3 million tonnes of rice – a record high, said UN statistics which also show that some 4.1 million tonnes of wheat was brought into Nigeria in the same year – nearly double the amount imported in 2000.
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