The Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari has assured that the ministry will take stringent measures in the distribution of agricultural inputs for the upcoming dry/wet season farming.
Kyari made this commitment to support genuine farmers and ensure effective agro-input distribution during a meeting with key stakeholders on Friday which coincided with the courtesy visit of the Sokoto State governor, Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto, to the ministry in Abuja.
Addressing the stakeholders, Kyari stated, “The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is dedicated to implementing stringent measures in the forthcoming dry/wet season farming for rice, maize and cassava, to ensure transparent distribution of agro-inputs and targeting genuine farmers. Collaboration with states, local governments, traditional rulers, NGOs and relevant MDAs will be crucial in achieving this goal”.
He underscored the importance of strategic partnerships across the board and emphasized the ministry’s commitment to massive crop production through technology and mechanisation. The focus is on aligning programs with the vision for the agricultural sector, driving agricultural transformation, enhancing productivity and supporting farmers to thrive while ensuring food security and curbing food inflation.
Kyari acknowledged the challenges faced by farmers in accessing agro-inputs, even at subsidized rates, and mentioned ongoing efforts to address this concern. He highlighted the need for multifaceted interventions at the sub-national level, recognising the complementary measures taken by states like Kebbi and Jigawa in providing additional support to farmers.
Reflecting on the successful implementation of the first phase of the dry season food production, particularly the Wheat Farming initiative across 15 states, Kyari acknowledged the lessons learned and stressed the importance of collaboration to achieve desired results.
However, the Sokoto State governor, Ahmad Aliyu expressed concern over the growing insecurity, which forces farmers to seek permission before accessing their farms. He emphasised the need for security personnel to accompany farmers to their fields, describing the situation as “unbecoming”. The governor further outlined plans to establish a committee under the Ministry of Agriculture, collaborating with the Ministry of Education and Digital Economy to identify genuine farmers in Sokoto State.
Also, Aliyu shared the challenges faced in the distribution of fertiliser, revealing instances of diversion. He sought the support of the minister and called for collaboration with the ministry to ensure that the support for farmers reaches the intended beneficiaries.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s commitment to transparent and targeted agro-input distribution aligns with its broader goals of promoting agricultural development, improving food security, and empowering farmers across Nigeria. The collaborative approach with states and stakeholders is seen as crucial to the success of these initiatives.