The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has stated that quality seeds are the bedrock of crop production that would ensure food nutrition and sufficiency, boost production and economic growth in Nigeria. He also stated that crops are very important for food security, job creation and the diversification agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s led Administration.
The Minister disclosed this during the Debriefing of Outcomes of Socio-Economic Surveys by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Partners in Nigeria, held at the Hon. Minister Conference Room in Abuja on Tuesday 10/11/2020.The Minister stated that ‘’ as you are aware, sorghum and millet provide a diet for most of the population who live especially in the arid and semi-arid tropics of Africa including Nigeria.
These crops are major staple food consumed by over 60 million people living in Northern Nigeria where it is mostly grown, whereas groundnut is the major crop for the production of vegetable oil and critical feeds’’.Nanono further stated that ‘’ the crop is widely consumed in different forms as food and beverage; having a good source of some very important nutrients as elements like copper, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium’’He said that ‘’the Ministry is making effort to strengthen the value chains hence it held a stakeholders’ Workshop on millet in order to strategize on the ways to improve production, likewise convene a stakeholders’ workshop on the Sorghum value chain and also constitute a technical committee on sorghum varietal Mainstreaming.
He explained that it will ensure that quality seeds are available to Nigeria farmers’’The Minister lauded the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Partners for its immense contribution in Quality Seeds for agricultural development in Nigeria.In her welcome remarks, the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture in the Ministry, Mrs Karima Babangida appreciated ICRISAT and its Partners for the contribution in the Agricultural sector especially on sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut value chains.
Mrs Babangida informed that ‘’ the ministry’s value chain signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with ICRISAT to boost sorghum production, commercialization and industrial utilization and processing, that collaboration has yielded positive results with the increase in sorghum production’’She stated that ‘’ in the cropping season of 2020, the Organisation supported the ministry by providing certified seeds of sorghum, millet and groundnut to farmers as COVID-19 Pandemic palliative. Presently, I have been notified that ICRISAT and its partners have conducted surveys on Adoption and Impact of Technologies and analysis of sorghum, pearl millet and Groundnut in Nigeria and Sorghum, pearl millet and Groundnut value chain Analysis in Nigeria’’.
During his presentation, ICRISAT Country Director, Dr Hakeem Ajeigbe, stated that the potentials of the production, processing and distribution segments of the groundnut value chain, for instance, were enormous, they could be exploited by relevant government departments at all levels for livelihoods improvement and create job opportunities ‘’Dr Ajeigbe emphasized that ‘’ there is need for proactive measures of establishing sustainable linkages in the long run and that efforts should be intensified to increase the availability of seeds of improved varieties’’
A 5-DAY ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ON AGRO ALLIED ACTIVITIES FOR FMARD STAFF HELD AT ARCN, MABUSHI, ABUJA ON 21ST-25TH SEPTEMBER, 2020.
The major aim of the programme was to train and empower staff of the Ministry to supplement their salary and for those about to retire from service against post-retirement challenges. It was also aimed at creating prospects for business Oriental civil servants who would take advantage of the agricultural skills to contribute to the nations food security and as well become small-scale labour employers.The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mua’zu Abdukadir, ably represented by the Director Legal Services, Mrs. Sheotan A.A, the Ag. Director Reforms, Mrs Gertrude A. Orji, the Director Information, Mr. Theodore O.C. Ogaziechi others were 52 staff of the Ministry drawn from all the departments, Resource persons from Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Nigerian Youth Chambers of Commerce (NYCC) and the Technical departments of the Ministry were the facilitators of the programme.
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.