Osinbajo, governors, ministers hold crucial meeting

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Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday presided over a meeting of the Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat.

The parley was part of Federal Government's efforts aimed at boosting food security.

In attendance were four state governors -Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi); Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa) and Dave Umahi (Ebonyi).

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Agricluture, Audu Ogbeh; and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, also attended.

Bagudu told State House correspondents that the meeting reviewed the government's wheat programme.

He said, "This is the meeting of Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat and we reviewed the wheat programme and what we can do more to support states in order to increase production of wheat.

"We also want to ensure that our farmers who have responded to the call are supported in terms of getting good price for their output in order to sustain their interests.

"We reviewed where we are with rice production. The Acting President noted with satisfaction all the efforts be different stakeholders to attain sufficiency in the shortest possible time.

"The Acting President assured the meeting that the Federal Government will continue to support the drive towards self sufficiency in food security. He said the government, of necessity, will support the farmers, the millers and other stakeholders involved in the value change‎."

He said farmers had responded and that about 32 states had showed readiness to increase production.

"I think we have done very well. We have remarkable increase in the number of states that have produced wheat from the last season.

"Last season, we had about five states but today we are hearing reports from about 11 states‎ and the increase in output per state is quite significant as well.

"So we believe that with sustained trajectory that we are seeing, we will be able to achieve our self-sufficiency", he added.

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