Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said farmers in the country should be more focused on producing enough food to satisfy the country, because the government “has no money to import into the country.”
President Buhari made this decision while speaking with reporters at the presidential palace after the evening prayers.
His comments come amid growing concerns over food shortages at this time of the covid19 and rising food prices in Africa’s most populous country.
According to the UN Food Program, before the outbreak of covid19, farmers could not produce enough food to feed 200 million people.
Although agriculture is the country’s largest industry, it has been ignored by various governments, focusing on oil whose market has been devastated due to the outbreak of covid19.
President Buhari’s government has long promoted the development of rice farms and has treated Thai rice importers by closing its borders.
Prior to that time, Nigeria imported more than 1 million tonnes of rice from Thailand each year.
Nigeria now lets imported rice only through her water borders – where the country makes a lot of money through taxes.
Food prices have risen sharply in Nigeria since the outbreak of covid19 and oil revenues have been declining due to falling prices.
The International Monetary Fund predicts that Nigeria’s economy will grow by 1.5 percent by 2020.