FG Engages Stakeholders’ on Promotion and Development of Donkey Value Chain.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, through her Department of Animal Husbandry Services, holds Stakeholder’s engagement on the Promotion and Development of Donkey Value Chain.

The objective of the meeting is to engage stakeholders to discuss and identify challenges facing donkey breeding, develop massive sustainable production of Donkeys, and identify interventions to support existing and prospective donkey farmers in the country.

In his address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, represented by the Director Special Duties of the Ministry, Mrs Fausat Lawal stated that donkeys have received little or no attention from the government compared to other classes of livestock despite the fact that they are essential to livelihood and resilience of many communities.

To address this concern, and avert possible extinction of donkeys in Nigeria, the 43rd Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) held April 2019, approved the establishment of Donkey Value Chain in the Department of Animal Husbandry Services. It is envisaged that this move will draw more attention from a wide range of stakeholders including Government, Development Partners and the Private sector towards research, development and investment in the breeding and multiplication of donkeys.

Mu’azu added that Donkeys are one of the ancient domesticated livestock valued in particular for their ability to survive under harsh conditions and also important for rural transportation and farming particularly in the northern part of the country.

They also support the livelihoods of the rural population in many domestic chores. Nigeria is one of the countries with a relatively large population of donkey estimated at about 974,499, which can be attributed to the cross border movements by the pastoral herdsmen from Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali and Cameroon.

This stakeholders’ engagement has become imperative due to the emergence of large-scale global trading in donkey skins, with estimates of a minimum of 1.8 million donkey skins being traded annually, especially in Africa, and 10 million per annum globally.

There is therefore urgent need to create awareness on the possible extinction of Donkey in Nigeria without matching production with increasing demands.

A thriving trade in donkey skins for export to China for the production of gelatine used in a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has become a serious threat to the donkey population in Nigeria and Africa which is tending towards extinction.

The Permanent Secretary assured that the engagement will lead to actionable resolutions for increased production, productivity and conservation to avert the extinction of Donkey in Nigeria.

In her remark, the Acting Director of the Department of Animal Husbandry Services, Mrs Winnie Lai-Solarin thanked the Permanent Secretary for his address and appreciated the Stakeholders for creating time out of their busy schedules to be part of the meeting.

Agric Minister Receives 2020 Wet Season Agricultural Performance Survey Report (APSR), Commends Committee.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has received the 2020 Wet Season Agricultural Performance Survey Report(APSR)and 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, Alhaji Sabo Nanono noted that the report was timely and apt especially in this era of the Covid -19 Pandemic, as such, 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.


In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, (ABU), Prof. Kabir Bala, stated 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’’.


During the presentation of the ASPR, 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.

SYMPOSIUM-WORLD FOOD DAY 2020: Improved Commodity Value Chain in the Agric Sector to be Sustained- Sabo Nanono

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment towards sustaining the improvement in the commodity value chain in the Sector by tackling the issue of land access, soil fertility, information, input access, production, among others.

He stated 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.

The Minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu disclosed this during the Symposium/ Colloquium held on Wednesday 14, October 2020 at Chida International Hotel, in continuation of activities to mark the 2020 World Food Day which has the Theme: GROW, NOURISH, SUSTAIN.TOGETHER,’’ OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE’’, The Minister stated that ‘’ 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 a 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’’.

Nanono further stated that ‘’ 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’’.He added that ‘’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’’.

The Minister further said that ‘’ policy direction is fashioned towards an increased agricultural output in the country, stressing the re-activation, and utilization of existing dams and irrigation facilities, strengthening agricultural extension services, implementing a private sector-driven mechanization Programme’’.

He pointed out that ‘’ streamlining the mandates and operations of research institutes and federal colleges in the sector, aligning the curricula of agricultural universities to the best technology and entrepreneurial practices, restructuring the bank of agriculture to promote agro-allied enterprises, collaborating with financial 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. He informed that ‘’the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) strategy would provide a disciplined approach to building an agribusiness ecosystem that would solve problems facing agriculture sector”, adding 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 has 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 the Organization’s intervention of farmers in Borno and Yobe states by providing quality fertilizer and agricultural inputs amongst several other interventions. In his Goodwill Message, the Chairman, the House of Representative, Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutes, Hon. Munir DanAgundi lauded President Muhammadu’s policies in the Agricultural sector which he observed has enhanced food sufficiency, job creation and economic growth.

He also pledged that the National Assembly would continue to support strong and robust laws for the betterment of Nigerians.In his lead paper presentation with the Theme: Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. ‘’ our Action Our Future’’, the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Nasarawa State University, Prof. Olumuyiwa James Jayeoba, stated that the various organs of government and stakeholders should meet the needs of vulnerable populations through emergency food assistance and improved, more accessible, social safety nets.

Prof. Jayeoba also emphasized the importance of establishing evidence-based policies and legal support for sustainable food systems, such as regulations on nutrition, decent employment, and land resources.

WORLD FOOD DAY 2020 (MINISTERIAL PRESS BRIEFING): FG Targets 5 Million Jobs to Enhance Agric Productivity – Sabo Nanono

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has revealed that the Agriculture for Food and Job Plan(AFJP) Programme would create Five Million Jobs to enhance Agricultural Productivity, Food Security, economic growth and also mitigate the negative impact of the COVID – 19 Pandemic on Nigeria Farmers.

Speaking during the Ministerial Press Briefing to commence activities to celebrate the 2020 World Food Day with the Theme: GROW, NOURISH, SUSTAIN, TOGETHER, #OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE, held at the Minister’s Conference Hall in Abuja, TUESDAY 13, October 2020. THE Minister stated that the objective of the plan is to create Five million jobs in the agricultural sector by ensuring that farmers cultivate more land in each state, provide zero-interest loans to farmers and agricultural inputs among others. Alhaji Sabo Nanono stated that ‘’ out of the Five million planned beneficiaries for AFJP, the ministry has empowered 1,138,000 farmer-beneficiaries across the 36 states and the FCT under the first phase of implementation’’.

The Minister added that ‘’since the beginning of the 2020 farming season, the Ministry has distributed inputs in states across the country to boost food production. Nigeria last year recorded a boost in the production of her major staple crops’’. He further said, ‘’according to the data in the Ministry, maize and rice production rose from 12.8 and 12.3 to 13.94 and 14.28 million metric tonnes (MMT) respectively last year’’.

Nanono pointed out that ‘’ the same is obtainable for cassava with production increase from 58.47 MMT in 2018 to 73.91 – and even projected to rise to 93.6 by 2023. Growth has also been recorded for groundnut, tomatoes, and sorghum production. Cattle beef, milk and fish production also rose by 166%, 146% and 11% respectively between 2018 and 2019”. According to the Minister “as a nation, we consider the relevance of eradicating poverty and hunger and transforming our food production systems to ensure sustainable food security. Significant progress has therefore been made to improve agricultural productivity since the inception of the present administration”.

Speaking further, Nanono said, “to boost food security, Nigeria has curbed imports and has established a robust rice production programme to encourage more rice production at home. Efforts in this direction are starting to show results as Nigeria is now Africa’s largest producer of rice”. He added that “the country is also the largest producer of cassava in the world. A range of policies and initiatives to strengthen the rice and cassava value chains have been put in place.

The economic potentials of both livestock and fisheries are also being harnessed and respective value chains selected and targeted for development.”In an attempt to diversify the economy, the Minister explained that the “Federal Government has continued with its renewed focus on the agricultural sector.

The government has deepened the culture with the Anchor Borrowers programme initiative and ban on the importation of some agro-commodities”.He emphasized that ‘’ the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Bureau of Statistics report indicate that Nigeria’s National Agricultural Import Bill also reduced from 1.2 to 1.1 billion Naira’’.

The Minister informed that ‘’ the Federal Government through the Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS) has set aside N600 billion as loan support to farmers across the country, No fewer than 2.4 million farmers are expected to benefit from the loan which has zero interest’’.He assured that ‘’ the support was to complement the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture, which include: promoting food security, improving farmers production and also increasing exportation’’.

The Minister also stated that ‘’ a comprehensive flood mitigation and resilience plan for the affected farming communities nationwide have been finalized by the Ministry for consideration and approval by the President”, adding that the Ministry has raised her national food reserve stock to 109,657 MT, a figure expected to be increased to 219,900 MT by the end of 2020.

The World Food Day is celebrated by over 150 member nations annually on the 16th October and nations including Nigeria line up activities to mark the day such as a symposium/colloquium, agric and roadshow. But this year’s celebration is Low keyed in compliance with the global Covid -19 pandemic.

Federal Executive Meeting

vFEC: The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alh. Muhammad Sabo Nanono, today joins other Federal Executive Council (FEC) members to participate at the weekly Virtual FEC meeting, presided over by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, State House in Abuja.

The meeting started with the Swearing-in of new Permanent Secretaries. #AsoVillaToday

FOOD SUFFICIENCY: FG Set to Revitalize Rice Farms in Anambra State

The Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has stated that the Federal Government Rice Farms in Anambra State will be revitalized to boost rice production, create jobs and also improve the living standard of the people in the State and the region.

Speaking during his on the spot assessment of Federal  Government Rice Farms/ Mills in Omor and Umerum, located at Ayamelum Local Government Area of the State under Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme 1(ATASP-1), today, 28th September 2020, the Minister stated that’’ the Federal Government is vigorously pursuing and implementing programmes to achieve self-sufficiency in rice production because of its strategic importance as a major staple food crop in achieving food and nutrition security, import substitution and promotion of inclusive economic growth’’.

Shehuri noted that “ the present administration has provided various interventions to promote investment in the rice sector. As a result of these interventions, the country has increased its production from 4.8 million metric tons of milled rice in 2015 to over 6 million metric tons by 2019 with a huge reduction in the nation’s deficit’’.  

The Minister further stated that ‘’ Some of the activities undertaken by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop the rice sector include the following: Provision of farm inputs such as agrochemicals, organic fertilizers, knapsack sprayers, planting & harvesting equipment such as reapers, mini combine harvesters, threshers at a subsidized rate in order to increase productivity.

He added that ‘’the Provision of modern rice milling machines of various capacities per day (10tons, 20tons and 50tons) with their accessories such as destoners, parboilers, dryers, colour sorters to small/medium scale processors who currently produce the bulk of Nigeria rice to improve the quality of their output, facilitated the establishment of 25 Nos. integrated rice mills by private investors nationwide so as to improve the quality of Nigeria milled rice to international standard and currently produce over one million metric tons of rice annually”.

Shehuri further said that ” the Ministry has established 23 Paddy Aggregation Centers nationwide to aggregate and store paddy. The centres were given to members of the Paddy Dealers Association of Nigeria (PRIDAN) under the public-private partnership arrangement”.
He stated that ‘’ there will be Dissemination of modern rice production and processing technologies through capacity building of farmers and processors directly and also in conjunction with the international donor agencies such as Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), German International Cooperation (GIZ), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Competitive Africa Rice Initiative (CARI), AfricaRice’’.

He reiterated that ‘’ the Ministry is currently responding to the challenges of food availability posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting smallholder farmers nationwide with various inputs including certified seeds of improved varieties of food crops such as rice, maize, sorghum, wheat, orange-flesh sweet potato, groundnut cowpea, soybean, yam, as well as cash crops like cashew, cocoa, sesame, oil palm, gum Arabic. Others include herbicides, pesticides and agricultural machinery such as rice reapers, transplanters, power tillers motorized sprayers and processing equipment. According to him, ‘’these are expected to alleviate the effect of the pandemic on farmers and ensure that they keep producing food for the country’’.The Minister informed that ‘’ this rice farm is sited here because of the recognition of Anambra State as one of the major rice-producing States in the South-East zone’’.
He thanked the Government of Anambra State for keying into the policies and programmes of the administration by promoting agriculture especially rice production and processing. He also appreciated Hon (Barr.) Vincent Ofumelu, for his passion and determination to improve the livelihood of his people.

In his remark, the House of Representative member of Oyi /Ayamelum Constituency of the National Assembly, Hon. (Barr) Vicent Ofumelu Stated appealed to the Minister to use his good office to intervene in reviving the pumping Stations located in Ifite Ogwari and Umueje communities to boost rice production and increase the locally generated revenue of the people. 
Hon. Ofumelu stated that the people are basically farmers and are desirous of Agriculture intervention policies of the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. He also solicited for Agricultural Inputs, Quality Seeds and Financial grant to assist farmers in the communities.

The Minister also visited the Omor/ Umeum rice Farms, Giant rice Mill in Umumbo communities and commissioned a Blocks of Class Rooms sponsored by Hon. Vicent Ofumelu. 

Agric Minister Pledges Support for OGP Initiative.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has pledged the Ministry’s support for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Initiative by the Federal Government, stating that the initiative would make governance more transparent, accountable and participatory.

The Minister, disclosed this when the National Coordinator, SERVICOM, Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli and her team paid an advocacy visit to his office in Abuja, today and dressed as a SERVICOM Champion.Alhaji Sabo Nanono said the Ministry will synergize with SERVICOM to drive the process to promote the good governance initiative of Mr President as also enshrined in the Executive Order 001.

In her presentation, Mrs Nnnenna Akajemeli stated that the initiative has presented a platform for co-operation, partnership and collaboration between the Government (State Actors), Civil Society and the Private sector (Non-State Actors) that will bring immense developmental benefits to the Nation.

Mrs Akajemeli further stated that with the full commitment by key public sector bureaucrats; there will be development, reviews and implementation of service standards at service windows that would help the initiative to fall in line with our national guidelines.

According to the National Coordinator, SERVICOM has strategized to working closely with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) through their Service Charters to drive continuous citizen-focused service improvements in Nigeria.

Akajemeli pointed out that the Federal government’s commitment to the initiative would foster openness, transparency, accountability, inclusiveness and co-operation in service delivered by the MDA’s, adding that the process will translate to good governance.

FG Establishes Portal for Online Registration of Fertilizer Dealers for Quality Control – NANONO

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has revealed that the Ministry through the Department of Farm Inputs Support Services (FISS) has established an online portal called the National Fertilizer Management Platform for the registration of Fertilizer dealers in Nigeria.

He stated that the Initiative would ensure accessibility, transparency, accountability among fertilizer value chain players in order to create sanity in the fertilizer space.

Speaking during the Meeting /Workshop on Operationalization of the National Fertilizer Quality Control (NFQC) Act and Regulations held at the Debbie’s Upper Class & Recreation Limited, Nyanya- Karshi Expressway, Orozo in Abuja, on Monday 22nd September 2020, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono stated that the portal would strategically guarantee that all relevant stakeholders are properly and adequately guided on the use of fertilizers.

Alhaji Sabo Nanono noted that the training of stakeholders on fertilizer code of practice, product handling, use and management practices, said, ‘’this is with a view to equipping you for advisory services to farmers as they come to buy fertilizers from you’’.

The Minister stressed that there is a need for a robust public awareness campaign and continuous sensitization of the general public on the fertilizer regulatory system.Nanono charged, ‘’all the fertilizer players to re-double their efforts and carry on with your businesses in line with the provisions of the National Fertilizer Quality Control (NFQC) Act and the fertilizer Regulations’’, assuring that the Ministry will provide all the necessary support and assistance needed for the stakeholders to carry on their legitimate business unhindered.

He noted that‘’ Mr President has created ample opportunities for you the fertilizer players to reposition yourself to take advantage of the good and clear policy environment to grow your businesses’’.The Minister informed that ‘’ the Ministry officials will be engaging the relevant stakeholders during the 3-day workshop in three separate orders; – Day 1 for inorganic fertilizer Suppliers (Manufacturers/Blenders and Importers), Day 2 for organic fertilizer suppliers and Day 3 which is the last day for agro-dealers (distributors)’’.

He added that the workshop is to ensure participation of all stakeholders in the implementation process.In his welcome address, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu, represented by Director in the Permanent Secretary‘s office, Engr. Mohammed Bello said that ‘’the purpose of this workshop is to discuss the critical areas of the fertilizer Act in order to enhance our understanding of the operations of the fertilizer regulatory system’’.

Dr Mu’azu further said that ‘’ the interest of the Ministry is not to watch individuals violate the law and pay penalties but to ensure maximum compliance in order to grow the local fertilizer industry and the agricultural sector’’.In his goodwill message, the Chairman, House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, Hon. Dandutse Muntari Mohammed, pointed out that ‘’the Act was enacted to protect the interests of the farmers against nutrient deficiencies, adulteration as well as the investments of fertilizer industry players’’.

He assured of the National Assembly’s support on the implementation of the Act.While giving a vote of thanks, Director, Farms Inputs Support Services Department in the Ministry, Engr. Tunde Bello thanked the stakeholders for their commitment and technical support towards the actualization of the NFQC Act and Regulations.

FG Pumps over N600 Billion to Ensure Food Security And Sustainability.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has revealed that the Federal Government has resolved to inject over N600 billion as stimulus-response into the agriculture sector, targetting small scale farmers, to ensure food security and sustainability.

The Minister stated this while on a weekend tour of Dangote Fertilizer Plant, and a crucial meeting with other Fertilizer companies in Lagos State, to galvanize their cooperation for input production.

Nanono had explained that the well over N600 billion stimulus-response which targets farmers nationwide will take off with an initial 2.4 million farmers in the first instance. He also noted that to avoid the abuse of government funds and good intentions, the support will be in kind in the form of inputs and not cash as was the practice in the past.

The Minister added that the forceful closure of all International borders, necessitated by the COVID-19 Pandemic, has made it evident that Nigeria can conveniently and sustainably feed itself. The Minister had commenced his tour with a courtesy call on the Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu where he pledged to support the state farming communities with rural roads, solar lighting, and water holes so as to encourage and empower them to increase productivity.

He also promised to collaborate with Lagos State Government in the fishing sector in order to tap the potentials of its marine endowments and drastically reduce the importation of fish in Nigeria. In his response, Babajide Sanwo – Olu who had received the Minister in the company of his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and other State officials, promised to collaborate with the Federal Government not only in the fishing sector but also to join forces in the Federal government’s effort to embark on mechanized farming.

Sanwo-Olu while recognizing agriculture as a critical component of development stated that he will complement the Federal Governments effort when he completes his project, the largest rice mill in Nigeria with a capacity to mill approximately 30 Million Metric Tons of rice per annum. This he said will help Nigeria focus more on the exportation of rice and downward review of prices at the retail market.

The Governor said that Lagos State is presumably the largest retail market for agricultural products as well as the largest enabler in the industry with Dangote Fertilizer Plant cited in its domain. In another engagement over dinner, the Minister and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Abdulkadir Mu’azu, had interacted with Agro -Input Dealers in Lagos to discuss the quality, affordability, and availability of fertilizer in the country. The big player, Dangote Group and other fertilizer blending companies, Premium Agro Limited, Elephant Group and Kewalram Group stated that raw materials for fertilizer blending, most especially Ammonium phosphate, is the major challenge they face.

However, the cherry news is that Dangote Group is considering the exploration of local sources for the raw materials which they are hopeful and confident that once the domestic source is remedied, the problem of fertilizer shortfall will become history in the country. The Minister was overwhelmed with this revelation and is of the opinion that with the impressive strategies initiated by the Dangote Group, the outcome will change the narrative of agriculture, food production/ Fertilizer availability and the nation’s economy for good before the close of 2020.

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