Buhari wants more Nigerians on the farm

Only 2.5% of arable lands in the country is being cultivated.

President Muhammadu Buhari on his livestock farm in Daura, Katsina State [Presidency]

President Muhammadu Buhari says he wants more Nigerians to embrace farming to improve food production in the country.

The president told journalists on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 that he was surprised to hear that only 2.5% of arable lands in the country is being cultivated.

The 78-year-old's administration has for the past six years made diversification of the economy one of its key goals, achieving mixed results.

He had said on Monday, July 19 that agriculture is the backbone of that diversification goal, as it's a more stable mainstay of the Nigerian economy, and must be exploited to provide a boost for the nation.

The president also noted that insecurity has had an adverse effect on cultivation of land, with many rural farming communities devastated by violence.

He said on Tuesday that he's directed security agencies to work with communities to create a more secure environment for farmers.

Nigeria's agricultural sector is still heavily dominated by subsistence farming that is unattractive to its largely youthful population.

The president's encouragement of farming has failed to properly penetrate, despite unemployment rising to a record 33.3% last year.

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