Nanono gave the advice on Owerri at a one-day workshop organised for maize growers and processors by the Maize Growers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria.
The minister, who was represented by Mr Chris Iwuchukwu, the State Director in the ministry, said that crude oil was failing the country and a reason why agriculture should be given more priority in the nation’s affairs.
He said the ministry was making efforts to see that farmers were encouraged and that maize would become “self-sustaining and available for export”.
“Crude oil is failing the country, so we need to give agriculture its prime place in the country. Since 2011 till date the Federal Government has been doing its necessary best to boost agriculture.
“There is a need to make agriculture have a face by making the rural community comfortable for the youth to farm.
“There is need for the South-East and South-South to begin to export maize. There is a need for the farmers to manage the crop well in order not to suffer losses,” he said.
Dr Edwin Uche, the National President of the association, urged the people to embrace agriculture, especially the cultivation of maize to ensure food security.
“We need to embrace agriculture as a people. We need to strengthen its value chain in our communities, environment and society.
“We need to accept the fact that technology in agriculture has come to stay and that agriculture is the sector that can boost our economy and make life more meaningful to the people,” he said.