The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment towards sustaining improved commodity value chain in the agricultural Sector.
Nanono said that sustainability will be achieved by tackling the issue of land access, soil fertility, information ,input access ,production, among others.
The minister made this known in a statement signed by the Chief Information Officer, Ezeaja Ikemefuna, on Thursday, October 15.
The Minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, said, during the Symposium/ Colloquium to mark the 2020 World Food Day, that the Green Alternative’s framework featured the first pillar on productivity enhancement for commodity value chain development, incorporation of private investments and institutional alignment.
According to the statement, ‘’this year’s theme is carefully selected by reorganizing the immediate need of current government’s effort to intensify production and processing across the value chain and meet domestic capacity in the shortest possible time with focus on closing the demand-supply gaps in the agricultural sub-sector that if not critically addressed might contribute to the global food crisis currently affecting the human race.
‘’The Ministry will ensure sustainable access, availability and affordability of quality food for all Nigerians and to be a significant net provider of food to the global community and in production of raw materials to meet the needs of the expanding industrial sector.
‘’This forum would provide ample opportunity to highlight the achievements of the Ministry along with the various sub-sector activities and the planned implementation road map for the various initiatives embarked upon by the present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
‘’Policy direction is fashioned towards an increased agricultural output in the country, stressing the re-activation, and utilization of exiting dams and irrigation facilities, strengthening agricultural extension services, implementing a private sector-driven mechanization Programme.
‘’Streamlining the mandates and operations of research institutes and federal colleges in the sector, aligning the curricula of agricultural universities to best technology and entrepreneurial practices, restructuring the bank of agriculture to promote agro-allied enterprises, collaborating with finance institutions to facilitate credits to agribusiness initiatives, mainstreaming youth and gender productivity.”
The Minister explained that the initiative would widen employment opportunities and sustain the contribution of agriculture to the country’s gross domestic product, aiding livelihood and achieve food security.
Daily Times reports that the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) strategy would provide a disciplined approach to building an agribusiness ecosystem that would solve problems facing agriculture sector.
Nanono added that ”our primary focus in the agricultural sector is to ensure a virile foundation and from the implementation of the Green Alternative Policy’’.
The Minister lauded the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) immense contribution to agricultural development in Nigeria and other donor Agencies and NGOs particularly OXFAM, Action Aid Nigeria that have demonstrated commitment.
In his opening remarks, the FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Fred Kafeero, represented by Mr Abubakar Suleiman, said that the Organisation would continue to provide technical support for Nigeria’s government policies in the Agricultural sector. He disclosed Organization’s intervention of farmers in Borno and Yobe states by providing quality fertilizer and agricultural inputs amongst several other interventions.