FG Allocates N1.6bn Relief Fund For Ginger Farmers To Tackle Blight

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 Ginger Committee
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Aliyu Abdullahi (sixth from right) flanked by members of the committee during their inauguration at the ministry headquarters in Abuja.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has confirmed the outbreak of a devastating ginger blight epidemic in four states, resulting in substantial losses estimated at over N12 billion for ginger farmers. 

In response to this crisis, the government has inaugurated a National Ginger Blight Epidemic Control Taskforce and announced a N1.6 billion recovery package to support affected farmers and mitigate the impact of the epidemic.

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Aliyu Abdullahi disclosed these developments while addressing stakeholders in Abuja. He emphasised the severity of the situation, highlighting the widespread damage caused by the fungal disease in Kaduna, Nasarawa and Plateau states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory. Abdullahi noted that the epidemic not only threatens the livelihoods of farmers but also undermines Nigeria’s position as the world’s second-largest ginger producer.

The minister expressed deep concern over the staggering losses incurred by ginger farmers, particularly in southern Kaduna, where preliminary estimates suggest losses exceeding N12 billion. Given that the region accounts for over 85 per cent of Nigeria’s ginger cultivation, the impact on cultivated land is significant, potentially exceeding 70 per cent of total land dedicated to ginger farming.

To address the urgent needs of affected farmers and restore confidence in the ginger industry, the Federal Government has allocated a N1.6 billion recovery package through the National Agricultural Development Fund. This relief fund aims to provide financial assistance for ginger farmers in affected areas, enabling them to recover from their losses and rebuild their agricultural enterprises.

Abdullahi underscored the importance of proactive measures in safeguarding agricultural resources and promoting resilience in the face of emerging challenges. He emphasised the need for investments in research, extension services and farmer support systems to build a more sustainable future for Nigeria’s agricultural sector. By strengthening preparedness and response mechanisms, the government aims to prevent future outbreaks and minimise the impact of agricultural crises on food security and economic stability.

Chairing the newly established National Ginger Blight Epidemic Control Taskforce, Abubakar Abdullahi affirmed the severity of the crisis and its adverse effects on the gross domestic product (GDP) derived from the ginger subsector. He highlighted the urgency of implementing strategic interventions to mitigate the negative impact of the epidemic on farmers and the economy.

Assuring the minister of the task force’s commitment to addressing the crisis, Abdullahi called for the empowerment of subcommittees to enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness. He emphasised the importance of collaboration and synergy among stakeholders to develop holistic solutions and expedite the recovery process for affected communities.

The outbreak of the ginger blight epidemic underscores the vulnerability of Nigeria’s agricultural sector to emerging threats and underscores the need for robust mitigation strategies. The government’s swift response and allocation of financial resources demonstrate its commitment to supporting farmers and safeguarding agricultural productivity.

The collaboration between government agencies, task forces and stakeholders is essential for effectively addressing agricultural crises and promoting resilience in Nigeria’s agricultural sector. By providing timely assistance and implementing targeted interventions, the Federal Government aims to alleviate the plight of ginger farmers and facilitate the recovery of the affected communities, thereby ensuring food security and economic prosperity for all.

Alex Apeh
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