The Federal Government is set to promote the development of the hibiscus value chain as one of the most important export crops in the country.
Hibiscus is rich in minerals and vitamins required for improving human health and is one of the many value chains targeted by the government.
The Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA) an offshoot of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) made this known in a stakeholders’ meeting on the promotion and development of hibiscus on Tuesday, in Kano.
The programme was themed ‘Promoting the Development of Hibiscus Value Chain in Nigeria for Job Creation, Income Generation, Food and Nutritional Security’’ and targeted towards charting road maps to improving the hibiscus value chain.
Speaking at the occasion, the Director of the Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA), Mrs Karima Babangida, said that the programme was first of its kind and in line with the agricultural promotion policy thrust of the present administration.
Babangida who was represented by Muhammed Shehu Adamu, her Technical Adviser, explained that the programme resulted out of the need for the government to diversify the economy away from oil to agriculture for job creation and income generation.
According to her, the government will promote awareness of the health benefits and industrial use of hibiscus. This, she added, will also help to conserve the much-needed foreign exchange.
Babangida recalled that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, under the leadership of Alhaji Sabo Nanono, has ensured the lift of the ban on exportation of hibiscus to Mexico by complying with the work plan presented by Mexican authorities since the ban in 2017.
“The Federal Government is committed to driving activities of the Hibiscus value chain in line with internationally developed quality control and standardization measures through policy framework capacity building and provision of subsidized inputs” the director noted
On the other hand, the Kano State Director at FMARD, Mr. Abba Gana Yamani frowned at the way limited hibiscus was being cultivated by farmers without due consideration of appropriate planting.
“In spite of its medicinal and food value, if properly harvested, it will surface any agricultural produce in Nigeria in terms of foreign income earning,” Gana added.