Gov Rauf Aregbesola, of Osun State has urged Nigerians to stop eating imported rice and return to the pre-1980 era when indigenous rice was eaten only during festive periods.
The governor also advised Nigerians to embrace family planning, saying stopping the eating of imported rice and limiting the number of children each couple gave birth to would be effective tools towards eradicating poverty in the country.
Aregbesola said this in Osogbo on Monday at an event organised by the Osun State Agency for Community and Social Development to mark the 2016 International Day for Eradication of Poverty.
The governor also said since laziness was a factor that engendered poverty, every adult should strive to be productively engaged, especially in the agriculture sector, to ensure an abundant availability of food.
He said, “If we work and pray, we will banish poverty from our environment. Rice was not a staple food in Nigeria before 1980. Ofada rice was the only rice eaten during festivities. We should return to the time when we were eating indigenous rice.
“We have cassava, plantain, beans and yam. We should return to the time when we were eating our indigenous foods.
“Secondly, we should embrace family planning. I am not asking you to kill the ones you have given birth to but we should stop the erroneous belief that we would be sick if we don’t give birth to all the children in our body.”