President Muhammadu Buhari has praised Nigerians farmers for their contribution to the growth of the economy and saving billions of dollars that would have gone on food importation.
This was contained in a goodwill message to mark the Farmers’ Day celebrated today in Obie, Rivers State, by Nigerian Agip Oil Company.
Buhari said, “It gives me immense pleasure to welcome you once again on the occasion of Farmers’ Day for year 2019. I am glad to rejoice with you, and celebrate our farmers on the success of another farming and harvest season.
“As I have said on occasions in the past, what would we have done as a nation, if God had not been kind to us, giving us good and abundant rainy season and good harvests in the past four seasons?
“As at 2015, our economy was in such perilous state, with oil prices crashing internationally, and so many challenges nationally and locally. In fact, our country was in a desperate state.
“We then decided to put the modest resources we had where our mouth was. We focused on agriculture, and God heard our prayers. And we got good returns from our investments.
“We appealed to Nigerians to return to the land, and take up farming seriously again. They heeded our call, and have not regretted it since then. The theme of this Farmers’ Day is ‘Farm and Fortune’ and I must say that it is a well thought out theme.
“Farming has brought fortune to millions of Nigerians who embraced it, as it has turned round their social and economic status. We should never forget: the real wealth of our country lies primarily in farming, livestock, foresting and fisheries.
“Farmers are now among very well to do Nigerians. They can cater for their families, meet other existential needs, and even embark on various capital projects.
“Above all, farmers have led the country to the food self-sufficiency we now enjoy, saving us billions of dollars yearly, which would have been spent on food importation. Such funds are now deployed to other developmental projects, particularly infrastructure.