Nigerians head back to the farm to beat recession

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SHOFOLU VILLAGE, Nigeria: Too broke to pay for costly imports of rice and palm oil, Nigeria is looking to agriculture to help lift itself out of a recession. The once-flourishing sector was abandoned during the oil boom but has the potential to grow as Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari pushes to diversify Nigeria’s economy. In a grim recent report, the National Bureau of Statistics said the country’s economy contracted in the second quarter by 2.1 percent, with the oil sector suffering a double-digit decline. Crude-addicted Nigeria has been hit hard by the global fall in oil prices, which has reduced government revenues and driven inflation to an 11-year-high of 17.1 percent in July. Nigeria usually gets 70 percent of its revenue from oil sales but the crash has left the government cash-strapped and struggling to pay civil servant wages. The dire situation has spurred the Nigerian government to look for ways to encourage sustainable growth.

AFP

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