The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has received the 2020 Wet Season Agricultural Performance Survey Report(APSR), Daily Times reports.
Nanono commended the Committee for a detailed report, adding that it will guide the ministry and farmers in planning and preparing ahead of the commencement of the dry season farming.
While receiving the report in his office over the weekend, the minister noted that the report was timely and apt especially in this era of the Covid -19 Pandemic.
He called on Nigerian farmers to intensify efforts and focus on achieving more successes during the dry season farming in order to cushion the loses occasioned by the pandemic.
The Minister assured that the Ministry would support the farmers with agricultural inputs and zero interest loans through the Central Bank of Nigeria and other Financial institutions to mitigate the effect of the COVID – 19 and the recent flooding especially in Kebbi, Jigawa and Kano States.
The Vice- Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, (ABU), Prof. Kabir Bala, who spoke during the presentation of the ASPR, said that the institution has initiated the use of over 200 hectares of land in the University for direct crops, livestock and fisheries production, informing that, “this is our own way of contributing to the attainment of national food security goal’’.
Also, the Executive Director, National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS) and the National Coordinator of the Survey report, Prof Mohammed Othman, disclosed that the survey was conducted between August 23 to September 30, 2020 by NAERLS in collaboration with other agricultural institutions.
The report recommended; evolving a definitive action plan on stemming insecurity as well as enhancing productivity through an effective input subsidization blueprint.
Additionally, the survey recommended investment in climate-smart agriculture and the development of a strategy to strengthen agricultural extension activities.
Other recommendations include: Building lasting and sustainable grassroots extension delivery institutions at the Federal and State Government levels, Increasing support to the National Farmers Helpline as an e-Extension strategy to boost advisory delivery, Setting up of an Agricultural Trust Fund to cater for farming activities, especially in periods of emergency, among others.