New Year 2024: Agric Ministers Affirm Commitment To Boosting Domestic Production Of Staple Crops

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Kyari Abdullahi
Kyari Abdullahi

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the New Year festivities, the Minister and Minister of State of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari and Sen. Dr. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, respectively have restated the ministry’s commitment to boost domestic production of staple crops to enhance food security in the country.

This was contained in a New Year message jointly co-signed by both ministers and made available to newsmen today in Abuja.

In the statement, the duo noted that during the festive season, the ministry heard citizens’ complaints about the cost of food items and citizens’ diminished purchasing power.

“We would like to assure Nigerians that we have heard their cries, and are working assiduously to arrest the high food inflationary trend that has been on for some time. In our task, we are happy that we have the full backing and encouragement of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who has deployed statesmanship in developing pathways to ease our national pains, and set the country on a higher and faster trajectory of growth and development.

“Affordability is one of the critical indices of food security, along with availability, accessibility, sustainability, and nutrition. We recognise that food affordability has been impacted by, among others, transportation costs, infrastructure impediments, and exchange rate volatility, especially with regard to the imported component of our food requirements.

“However, the good news is that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is boosting domestic production of staple crops. This has been accelerated with the launch, in November 2023, of the dry season farming, targeting wheat, rice, maize, and cassava. We hereby appeal to farmers to continue to heed the expert advice of Extension Service Agents. We also applaud state governments that have made interventions, in line with President Tinubu’s food security agenda.

“We call on all stakeholders in the agriculture and food security sector to be alert to the prospects and opportunities that the New Year presents. In 2024, we shall not only round off the dry season farming which commenced in November last year, but also have the full wet season farming, and thereafter the commencement of the next dry season farming. Several other agriculture-related programmes and projects are still running.

“For us in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, a number of items in our Strategic Work Plan will equally gather pace in the New Year. This includes formalising the processes and procedures for bringing under cultivation the vast arable land currently lying fallow in the possession of Federal institutions and establishments. Our goal in this regard is to significantly increase agricultural production in more secure environments.

“We will also proceed with the reform of Bank of Agriculture with the ultimate objective of enabling genuine farmers access affordable credit. This will be in addition to ramping up insurance for players in the agriculture and food security sector.

“Our sights are also set on boosting animal husbandry, poultry and allied businesses, aquaculture, as well as agro-forestry.

“Once again, while we congratulate Nigerians on the New Year, let us as citizens join hands to till our fertile lands and reap of the abundant harvests,” it added.

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