End of Tenure Statement by Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, May 28, 2019.

I would like to first of all appreciate President Mohammadu Buhari for bringing us in, in October 2015 to join him in running this country. In the last three and half years, with my colleague, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, we have put our energies into building a strong Agricultural economy. I want to thank the President for recognizing potential and giving us the responsibility.

2. I also want to thank all those who worked with me; my personal staff, the ministry staff, the Permanent Secretaries, Directors and all other Nigerians who cooperated with us in making agriculture a reality in this country today.

3. Our biggest thanks should go to the farmers, small and big, women and youths, particularly the youths, who responded very well to our call. I go round the world and I’m told that young people are not interested in Agriculture. In Nigeria, it is the reverse, which makes me extremely happy. So, I want to thank our young people. We still have a lot to do in terms of resources such as cheaper credits, machinery, access to land and orientation generally but the signs you have shown are clear. If we do our bit, you will do yours. So, I will like to say to every Nigerian, I thank you.

4. I urge you to give your cooperation to our successors in office. We need to build this sector. I want to say finally, that last year, Nigeria made 30billion dollars from oil but Holland, a country of 17 million people made 90billion dollars from food exports. If Holland did it, we can do it.

5. I wish the President, the new cabinet and all Nigerians the best of luck. We shall stay together, pray and work together to make Nigeria a success story.

Thank you all.

Ogbeh Charges The Ncard To Provide Policy Direction That Would Improve Enabling Environment For Agric Investors To Ensure Food Security.

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has charged the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) to articulate and provide policy direction that would improve enabling environment for investors in Agriculture sector and strengthen the development of the sector to ensure food security, diversification of the economy, employment generation and sustain livelihood in the country.

Chief Ogbeh said this in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the of the 43RD Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development held in Umuahia, Abia State on Friday, April 25, 2019.

The Minister said that he witnessed and appreciated the commitment and resilience of Agriculture stakeholders in value chain development towards achieving food security, employment generation and wealth creation in the country, adding that the dedication encourages the government to step up its efforts of facilitating infrastructure and incentives for increased private investment in the economy.

The Honourable Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar said that the theme of the Council ‘’Consolidating the Strategies of the Agricultural Promotion Policy for Economic Diversification and Growth’’ is to transform this administration’s Change Agenda into Mr. President’s Next Level Mantra.

Ogbeh recalled that the stakeholders of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) at the 41st Meeting held in Kano in 2016 led to the articulation of 2016 – 2020 Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) and its Investment Financing and Implementation Plan (IFIP). He maintained that his engagements and commitments of the stakeholders in the four years of this administration show that (NCARD) has all it takes to move Agriculture sector to the Next Level.

The Minister, in the light of collaborations, acknowledged the steady support of the Abia State Government in the implementation of policies, programs and projects of Federal Government States and other Stakeholders in the public and private settings, assured them collective responsibility of promoting trade and investment in Agriculture across the states of the Federation.

Earlier, the Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu who was represented by the Deputy Governor of the State, Honourable Ude Ogochukwu welcomed National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development to Abia State. He thanked the Honourable Minister, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and other stakeholders for chosen Abia State to host 43rd NCARD.

Governor Ikpeazu said that the theme of the Council ‘’Consolidating the Strategies of the Agricultural Promotion Policy for Economic Diversification and Growth’’ is remarkable and timely because of the need to exit mono-economy. He said that the Council’s responsibility is to assess the effect of extant policies and strategies, and fine-tune the existing initiatives for the attainment of food security in the country.

The Governor said that the government of Abia state has Agriculture as a priority for food production, employment creation and revenue generation, especially in palm produce, rice production, cassava and vegetables amongst others. He commended the efforts of federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture for creating enabling environment for farmers through the reduction of interest rate to a single digit to farmers, the privatization of Bank of Agriculture (BoA) and the Anchor Borrowers Scheme driven by Central Bank of Nigeria

He said that Abia State Government will continue to collaborate with Federal Government and partners in the continuous payment of counterpart funds for the development of Agriculture sector and diversification of the economy.

Mohammed Nakorji

Director Information

April 26, 2019

AGRIC STAKEHOLDERS TO ASSESS THE EFFECT OF EXTANT POLICIES AND STRATEGIES, AND SHAPE INITIATIVES FOR THE ATTAINMENT OF FOOD SECURITY IN THE COUNTRY – PERM. SEC

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar has said that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Commissioners of Agriculture in all the states of the federation, other stakeholders in Agriculture sector and partners are meeting to assess the effect of extant policies and strategies, and fine-tune the existing initiatives for the attainment of food security in the country.

Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar made this statement at the opening ceremony of the Technical Session of the 43RD Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development held in Umuahia, Abia State on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. He appreciated the commitments of the delegates for attending the meeting for exchange of ideas on Agriculture development process in the country.

The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director Federal Department of Agriculture, Dr. Batamous Babandi, further said that with the prevailing framework of the 2016 Green Alternative (Agricultural Promotion Policy) Government’s focus is to use the themes of “Productivity Enhancement’’, “Private Investment’’ and “Institutional Realignment” to develop agriculture in the country.

According to him, the Ministry is implementing this policy by promoting research applications, reviving extension services, easing input access, facilitating affordable credits, increasing commodity output, enhancing processing capacity, broadening market access and expanding revenue earnings.

Dr. Umar disclosed that Government is committed to the provision of incentives to farmers to increase the output and quality of agricultural commodities to exceed national requirements, adding that the Ministry has strengthened the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme by validating farmers’ biometric registration, using tablets for redemption, clustering farmers into commodity value chains and providing minimum input package to farmers.

The permanent Secretary said that notwithstanding the Ministry’s efforts of assisting small scale farmers with machinery hiring scheme, government has also made arrangement with certain agricultural machinery manufacturers towards the establishment of related assembly plant in the country to locally produce farm machinery that can withstand the varying geographical terrain and climate conditions of the country.

He sought for the commitment, cooperation and continuous collaborations of our partners, government entities and private establishments to be a plank for food security and employment opportunities to ensure sufficient food and stability in the country.

Mahammed Nakorji

Director Information

April 24, 2019

Ogbeh Receives Course Participants of the Institute of Security in Abuja

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh on Tuesday received course participants representing security agencies and practitioners from within and outside Nigeria, and members of faculty, who paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.

The delegation, led by the Institute’s Deputy Director of Studies, Dr. Abdulwahab Wale was made up of participants enrolled in this year’s course, with the theme: “Transhumance and International Migration, Challenges to Peace, Governance and Development in sub-Saharan Africa”.

Speaking on the purpose of the visit, Dr. Abdulwahab Wale said it was to acquaint the Honourable Minister with the programmes and activities of the institute as they relate to creating a peaceful and enabling environment for the current agricultural development programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria to thrive.

“The Institute of Security Studies has continued to provide professional resources and tools to help security agencies and practitioners expand their knowledge and skills and have introduced courses to bring security agencies together to rub minds, share ideas, and be better skill-equipped in modern ways of tackling insecurity. We have also added a new module on Agro terrorism to build security skills around the present challenges being faced in the Agricultural sector”, Dr. Wale told the minister.

Welcoming the delegation, the Honourable Minister stated: “The intellectual analysis of the security problems confronting the nation is very important; and security studies is absolutely vital if we are going to get anywhere in this country. The work you are doing is extremely important for the country, especially your focus on transhumance and international migration. The transhumance problem is one that will require joint action from ECOWAS and Nigeria is eager to engage in the sub-regional conversation on the subject to find a lasting solution to the current security challenges”.

The minister thanked the delegation for the visit and expressed the readiness of the ministry to collaborate with the institute in relevant areas of capacity building for agro-investment security.

RURAL PROJECTS: Bayelsa Communities Agog as Agric Ministry Commissions Projects

Rural communities in Bayelsa were excited as the Hon. Minister of State,  Dr. Heineken Lokpobiri, inspected an on-going road project and commissioned Solar Powered Boreholes and Street Light in Toru-Ebeni, Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

 

This is to improve the wellbeing of the people in that community. The facilities are ready for use and the road will be opened within the next two weeks.


More so, the Minister was in Akeddei, Okunbiri, Agbere and Odoni, all in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State to commission Solar Powered Boreholes and Street Light provided for the communities.

 

These projects were executed as part of the rural development projects of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

 


During the Commissioning, the Minister reiterated the commitment of the current administration not to neglect any part of the country. He encouraged the people of the benefitting communities to protect and maintain those facilities so that they can enjoy it for long.

 


The paramount rulers together with numerous residents of the communities expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for not forgetting them in the creek and promised to keep such an administration that brings them welfare in office so that they can consolidate on what they have started.

IN KADUNA: Minister Ogbeh Commissions 30MT/Day GB Tomato Processing Plant

Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh on February 4th, 2019 commissioned a 30 Metric Tonnes per day processing facility, an investment worth over N2billion established by GB Foods in Kaduna state.

 

The pilot tomato farm which sits on a 30 hectares space is growing over 15 varieties of tomatoes with an expected average yield of 40-50MT/ per hectare.

 

Speaking during the event, Honourable Minister, Audu Ogbeh who was in the accompany of the Central Bank Governor, said the Federal Government is committed to encouraging local production and processing of tomato and would place a ban on the importation of tomato paste to encourage massive local production.

 

He added that Nigeria is targeting the next two years to attain self-sufficiency in Tomato production.

USDA partially admits wrong data on Nigeria’s rice imports | Business Day

The United States Department of Agriculture, USDA has partially adjusted its data on Nigeria’s rice imports, which was found to be flawed in a fact check published by Business Day in November, 2018.

 

The USDA in its December 2018 report titled “Grains: World Markets and Trade”, had to make elaborate explanations on Nigeria’s rice production and importation even though it failed to respond to questions about its methodology and data sources.

 

Caleb Ojewale of Business Day writes that the adjusted data which now acknowledge increasing rice production in Nigeria, are however still flawed.

Read the full story on the attached image.

Minister Ogbeh visits Nigerian Air Force, encourages their participation in agriculture

The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development – Chief Audu Ogbeh was on February 1st, 2019 received at the Nigerian Airforce Headquarters in Abuja on a courtesy visit.

 

The Chief of Air staff – Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and Senior Officers of the Force were on hand to receive the Minister and his entourage comprising of Directors in the Ministry of Agriculture and Senior Technical Advisers.

 

Speaking, the Minister said the purpose of the visit was to first, say “Thank you” to the Air force for their efforts in securing the lives of Nigerians especially in the face of the Boko Haram insurgency and to acquaint the officers and men with the opportunities in the Agribusiness sector.

 

“I thank your officers and men for the work you do. I also want to use this opportunity to let you know that we are giving agriculture a serious attention and to acquaint you with the opportunities in the sector which your officers and men can gainfully engage in to improve their livelihoods especially in retirement”. The Minister then highlighted some of the Agricultural programmes of the present administration designed to diversify the economy and create wealth for Nigerians.

 

Responding, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar said “We are extremely delighted and profoundly honoured by your visit today. Thank you for all the efforts you have made in the Agricultural sector which has greatly added value. We at the air force have continued to improve on our operations to secure the lives and property of our citizens. We are commited to protecting our farmers who are producing the food we eat so they can work on the farms peacefully and go home to rest. That’s why we have created formations in troubled location to restore peace in places where we have had the herdsmen/farmers crisis”.

 

On agriculture, he continued “we have identified efforts to involve our officers. We have the Barrack Youths Employment in Agriculture, they are into fishery and various crop productions which have improved income generation for their families. So, we are keying into Agriculture and we want to do more. We want to inculcate in the minds of our youths that agriculture is very important”.

 

The Minister was accompanied on the visit by the Director, Agribusiness, Processing and Marketing – Alhaji Azeez Musibau; Director of Rural Development – Engr. Daniel Udo; Senior Technical Adviser on Investment Promotions & Agribusiness – Mr. Irede Ajala; Consultant/Technical Adviser on the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise, LIFE programme – Ms. Keke Bongos and the Technical Adviser on Media – Mrs. Aishat Onusi.

RURAL DEVELOPMENT: Yobe Community Visits Minister, Appreciates FG for Landmark Projects

The Honourable Minister of State – Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has assured the people of the North East geo political zone of the country that the Federal Government is committed to the development of the region despite the insecurity challenges posed by the activities of the Boko Haram sect.
The minister stated that the development of the region is in line with the electoral promises of President Muhammadu Buhari to the people, which informed the citing of a number of agricultural development projects by his ministry in the region in the 2018 budget.
Lokpobiri made this disclosure when a delegation from the district head of Degubi, in the Nangere Local Government Area of Yobe State paid him a thank-you visit in his office in Abuja on January 28, 2019 to show appreciation for the execution of a number of development projects in the community by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
The minister used the occasion to appeal to the people to ensure that they vote President Buhari and the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the coming elections to guarantee more projects to the region.
He urged the people to ensure that they guard the projects safely to avoid theft and vandalization.
Said Lokpobiri, “The President is committed to developing the Northeast. These projects are done at the directive of Mr President.

 

“Irrespective of the difficulties of the terrain or security challenges, development must extend to all parts, he said.

 

Continuing, the Minister said, “But the important thing you can do for yourselves and to encourage the government is to be able to take care of the projects because they are done for the benefit of the community. I am saying this because people destroy project meant for their development.

 

According to the minister, “If these projects are sited for your development it is important that you can also see how you can manage them by setting up a committee to manage them.

 

Lokpobiri regretted that Yobe State is the least in the northeast states in terms of the number of projects the Federal Government and his ministry is embarking on in the region but assured the people that in the next budget, this shortcoming would be addressed.

 

In a letter of appreciation signed by the district head of Degubi, Alhahi Mohammed Sambo and General Secretary, Danjuma Baba, but delivered by the leader of the delegation Mallam Bah Abubakar, the community said, “The Degubi community of Nangere Local Government, Yobe State wishes to express its profound appreciation to the Honourable Ministe for the honour done to us through the provision of two number (2) solar boreholes and 15 numbers solar street lights. The gesture has transformed the community, thus lessening the hardship in assessing drinking water.”
The letter added, “Like Oliver Twist, we cannot but ask for more of the solar lights as well as a feeder road because its inhabitants find it difficult to reach the community more especially during the rainy season.” They assured minister of the unalloyed support and loyalty to the vision and mission of Federal Government as encapsulated in the people-oriented programme of the current administration.

TOMATO SUMMIT: Stakeholders in the sector converged in Kano

Stakeholders in the tomato industry on Januray 25th, 2019 gathered in Kano state at the 1st National Tomato Summit to discuss “Strengthening Opportunities in Tomato Value Chain towards a National Self Sufficiency”.

 

The summit organized by the Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG) and Grow Africa in collaboration with the Tomato Growers Association of Nigeria (TOGAN) had in attendance, Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh.

 

Speaking at the event, NABG Chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Iwejere, said the aim of the forum was to identify some challenges bedevilling production in the tomato value chain and proffer solutions towards the attainment of national self-sufficiency.

 

Country Director, TechnoServe, Larry Umunung, said the summit was timely in view of the loses recorded in tomato production in Nigeria. According to him, Nigeria loses about 45% of tomatoes produced annually, noting that, “this summit will help in sensitising stakeholders to device means of achieving effective and profitable production.”

 

Honourable Minister, Audu Ogbeh pledged Federal Government’s support in the provision of solar-powered cold rooms in Kano state for tomato preservation.

 

Key issues examined by the summit included tomato value chain development and post-harvest processing, mobilizing more private investment to increase production, improving quality and standards, building of storage infrastructure and encouraging best practices in preservation to minimize post harvest losses.