The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, on Monday, said that Nigeria earned $31m from the sale of purple hibiscus, popularly known as zobo leaves, in the last one year.

Ogbeh also said the Federal Government would also engage in establishing both cashew and cocoa plantations to boost production and export in 2018.

The minister mentioned that fertilizer blending would also be improved to accommodate micronutrients in the product.

Ogbeh said the government would also work to ensure quality control of produce both for export and local consumption.

He said, “We are exporting more than we are importing now and most exportation is agro-products.

“We are growing in agriculture and from the middle of this year; whoever chooses to eat Thailand rice is welcomed to pay duties.

“We shall impose duties on it because we consider it a wasteful luxury and something this country can’t afford.

“There are about 12.2 million members of the Rice Growers Association; we have created more jobs than we have lost.’’

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