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Saraki Supports Agriculture and Rural Development

The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has supported many bills, reforms and activities relating to agriculture and rural development and is willing at all times to support any bill, reform or activity that would promote agriculture and rural development and calls on all Senators and Honourable members to do the same.

The Senate Committee Chairman on Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator (Dr) Abdullahi Adamu in the public hearing held on Tuesday, 14 November 2017 at the Conference Room 022, Senate New Building in respect of National Fertilizer Quality Control Bill 2017 (SB 338); National Livestock Bill 2017 (SB 373) and Legal Framework for the Inclusion of Cassava Policy Bill 2017 (SB 152); made it clear that the bills will surely be passed to promote improved agriculture and rural development in Nigeria and Saraki is highly in support of these bills.

Saraki has affinity for agriculture and rural development. This can be seen in his leadership will he was the governor of Kwara State when he introduced agricultural policy reforms to increase the commercial viability of farming, and also the volume of markets. The New Nigerian Farmers Initiative was designed to improve the technical capability of farmers and to ensure farmers had a significant financial stake in new investment in agricultural expertise in the Zimbabwean farming industry, and worked with Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers' Union to identify highly skilled farmers able to support Nigeria's farming industry and to move to Kwara and develop the farming industry. A commercial hub was also developed to build capacity support training for indigenous farming community.

During the presentation of the 2018 budget which President Muhammadu Buhari called "a budget of consolidation", he said, "agriculture played a crucial role in Nigeria's exit from recession and I assure investors in agriculture that the menace of smuggling would be handled decisively".

Saraki, during the budget presentation said, "oil prices are gradually inching up, but that is no reason for complacency in our diversification drive....We must grow our economy away from oil as well as the need to increase non-oil revenue generation and collection."

He notes that these bills would also place Nigeria in the global agricultural business and will increase the externally generated revenue of Nigeria.

By Terfa Naswem