The Federal Government will stop the importation of rice before the end of the year to boost internal production of the commodity and meet foreign exchange earnings that can support economic diversification.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Audu Ogbeh spoke at the weekend in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, during a working visit to Ekiti State.

He promised that the price of rice would crash within the next two weeks.

Ogbeh also visited Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) Farm, where he spoke his ministry’s intention to supply the institution with 20 tonnes of rice seedlings in the next planting season to boost rice production.

According to the minister, the Federal Government will sign a memoranda of understanding with Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) and Ekiti State government on the production of rice.

Ogbeh said the recession has helped the Federal Government to think outside the box and had succeeded in bringing the deserved revolution to agriculture sector.

ABUAD Founder Chief Afe Babalola (SAN) hailed the Buhari administration for bringing revolution to the country’s agriculture sector.

He said the sector had been neglected by successive governments, describing the economic recession as a blessing in disguise.

He said: “To support the Federal Government’s initiative, this university for the past three years have been holding annual Afe Babalola Agriculture EXPO (ABAFEX), where we give N1 million to the best farmer in Ekiti and N250,000 to the best in 16 local governments.

“This year, we intend to hold Rice Summit with intention to expose Ekiti potentials in the production of the commodity.”

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