The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has tasked the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) to Support the Federal Government in driving the Agriculture Mechanization Programme, stating that the Programme would ensure food and nutrition security, create jobs and boost the economy.
The Minister made this known while receiving a delegation of the newly elected Executive of the Association led by the National President, Alhaji Farouk Mudi in his office in Abuja, recently.
Nanono noted that the challenge of feeding the Nation’s growing population and creating a robust economy, food security and job creation would be a mirage without the Farmers being fully involved in the Mechanization of the Agricultural sector.
He observed the need for the association to be independent-minded and more focused. According to him, the association is a private organization, ‘’ it is entirely a Private Association and should be free from the influence of the Federal, State or Local Government Areas.’’
The Minister further said that in the recent past, ‘’those with little or no knowledge of farming or farmers, had hijacked the activities of the farmers for their selfish interest against the goals and objectives of the association’’.
He assured that the Federal Government will work with AFAN as major Stakeholders in the Agric sector.
The Minister also highlighted the three critical components of the Ministry’s policy thrust in which the desired transformation of the sector would become a reality to include; Mechanization, Research for Improved Seedlings and Effective Extension Services.
He appealed to AFAN to mobilize and sensitize the farmers, especially in the Local Government Areas to key into the Programme when it is implemented, adding that the Programme would be owned by the farmers.
Earlier in his address, the President of AFAN, Alhaji Farouk Mudi, appealed to the Minister to revisit and fine-tune the issue of the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES), which he believes would boost farmers production, create jobs and increase internally generated revenue.
Mudi further said that ‘’ Agriculture should be seen as a business and not a cultural practice. It must be structured, developed and financed as a business for us to fully unlock its potentials’’.
FG TARGETS INCREASED GDP FROM THE AGRIC SECTOR AS NANONO LAUNCHES NATIONAL FERTILIZER CONTROL ACT 2019
The Federal Government has launched the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act 2019 as a vital component of the Agricultural Policy of the present Administration and the bid to repositioning of Nigeria economy from oil and gas to agribusiness. The Act will safeguard and protect the interest of the entire Fertilizer value chain players such as manufacturers, producers, blenders, importers, distributors and the end user farmers in Nigeria. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono stated this in his public presentation of the ACT today in Abuja. Alhaji Sabo Nanono stated that the Agric sector contributes about 21.2% of the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) as at 2018, 88% of Non- oil foreign exchange earnings, employs about 70% of the active labour and provides raw materials for the Agro-allied industrial sector. Nanono noted that the Act would provide an enabling environment for Fertilizer enterprises to grow including the protection of investment in the Agric sector and assured that farmers will get value for every kobo spent on buying Fertilizer for their farms. According to him, “the Act therefore seeks to ensure that maximum benefits are derived from each kilogram of Fertilizer bought and used by the farmers in terms nutrients composition and levels “. The Minister informed that ‘’the quick assent to the fertilizer Act by Mr. President goes to show the importance and commitment he attaches to the agricultural sector in general and his desire to help protect the investments of the Nigerian farmers, through the provision of this regulatory framework aimed at guaranteeing the supply and distribution of quality fertilizers and other farm inputs to farmers across the country at their doorsteps, at the right time, right place and right prices”. He acknowledged the efforts of stakeholders including Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (NISS), International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Nigeria Agricultural Business Group (NABG), Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), Nigeria Agro-Input Dealers Association (NAIDA) and other relevant stakeholders for their immeasurable support and inputs in ensuring the actualization of this age-long dream of establishing a fertilizer regulatory system for Nigeria. The Minister stated that the Act is against activities such as: Operating or carrying on fertilizer business as a manufacturer, blender, importer or distributor in Nigeria with an expired permit or certificate of registration; Selling any fertilizer supplement that contains destructive ingredients or properties harmful to plant growth when used according to the accompanying instructions or in accordance with the instructions contained on the label of the package in which the fertilizer or the fertilizer supplement is contained; also, engaging in the illegal sales, distribution, transportation of fertilizers, among others. He further said that there is need to ensure that the country meets the required set standards in terms of quality by enforcing the following measures: Proper documentation and licensing of all the players in the fertilizer value chain from the manufacturers, producers, blenders, importers, distributors to the end user farmers to ensure traceability and accountability in the fertilizer delivery process, Deployment and re-training of more Fertilizer Quality Control Inspectors, among others. In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Abdulkadir Mua’zu said that the legal and regulatory framework for Fertilizer Quality Control would enable Fertilizer Inspectors of Farm Inputs Support services Department (FISSD) of the Ministry undertake periodic quality control and assessment to fertilizer production plants, ports of discharge and market outlets to ensure compliance. Dr Mua’zu pointed out that “this is important because the Federal Government has identified some violations in the sub-sector which includes plant nutrient deficiencies, adulteration, misbranding, underweight bagging, bagging quality, operating without certificate of registration and sometimes with expired certificate of registration”. He thanked all the stakeholders present and who have contributed in one way or the other in ensuring the passage of the bill into an Act especially, members of the National Assembly Committees on Agriculture for championing and actualizing the long awaited Fertilizer Act, International Agencies such as IFDC, AGRA, NABG, who have been supporting and partnering with the Ministry to actualize the establishment of the Act. In his goodwill message, Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Senator, Abdullahi Adamu noted that Nigerian farmers have suffered economic hardship based on the adulteration of fertilizer products overs the years and he also appreciated President Muhammad Buhari for passing of the bill into law in October, 2019.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development Hon. Mustapha Shehuri has stated that the Federal Government would partner Global Fortunes Ltd. to establish Agricultural Industrial Parks (AIPs) across the Six-Geopolitical Zones of the country in order to create jobs and ensure food sufficiency in the Agricultural Value Chain.
Shehuri made this disclosure when he received a delegation of the Global Fortunes Ltd led by Mr. Kidron Israel, in Abuja over the weekend.
The Minister pointed out that the project is going to be Public Private Partnership driven; adding that with the Federal Government is committed to the development of the agricultural value chain in Nigeria. He said the project if implemented would ensure food security and create more employment for Nigerians.
He also noted that ‘’even with the huge infrastructural deficit in Nigeria, we can still embark on this project, because the government is focused on diversifying the Nigerian economy.’’
The Minister said he will visit the Taraba State Agricultural Industrial Park with the relevant directors to see the model of the park that is the state.
He stressed the need for the Federal Government in collaboration with the State Government and other relevant agencies to partake in the project in order to accelerate progress.
In his remarks, the Director, Department of Agribusiness, Dr. Aminu Babadi, said the project is a welcome development but mentioned that some of the challenges that could hinder the smooth take off include; energy and space utilization.
In his presentation, the Manager, Global Fortunes Ltd, Mr. Kidron Israel said that the company is using this opportunity to establish Agricultural Industrial Parks across the six geopolitical zone of the country.
He also said that the system is the fastest way of changing the old farming culture to a state-of-the-art modern farming and also the fastest way of growing the economy.
As part of efforts of Nigerian Government to improve the county’s foreign earnings and create jobs for the citizenry, Nigeria, being the 4th largest producer of Cashew in the world, has been successfully registered to the International Consultative Cashew Council.
This was completed at the 3rd session of the Council of Ministers of the International Consultative Cashew Council (CICC) where the Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri represented the country and performed the official signing.
Nigeria will benefit largely from the Council in terms OF added value, job creation and income generation.
FG REASSURES FARMERS OF SUPPORT TOWARDS ACHIEVING FOOD SUFFICIENCY IN NIGERIA: PLEDGES 50% DISCOUNT FOR EQUIPMENT PURCHASE
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has reassured farmers of Federal Government’s resolve to support and also make farming equipment accessible to them in other to achieve food sufficiency and economic growth in Nigeria. The Minister gave this assurance when he visited the Livestock House of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in Mando, Kaduna, Kaduna State over the weekend.
Shehuri pointed out that the visit was basically to ensure that the staff and management team of the ministry in the Kaduna office worked in tandem with the objectives of the Federal Government at improving the farmers capacity towards achieving food security for the teaming population and Job creation for the Nigerian youth and as such, he stated that “We will ensure that the equipment and farm inputs procured by the ministry get directly to the people they are meant for (farmers) because they are the bedrock of government investment designed to achieve government’s policy of economic diversification and growth through the agricultural sector.
The Minister further stated that the farming equipment procured by the ministry would be sold to farmers at 50% discount to show government commitment, determination and good will at improving farmers production capacity in order to actualize the food sufficiency policy and income generation of the current administration. He added that “the border closure has further energized rice farmers and they are working assiduously to continuously produce the quantity locally consumed and prepare to mobilize for export in the nearest future. Today, they are smiling to the banks with the impressive sales they have recorded and this opportunity has created more jobs, not only in rice production but also livestock and other commodities.”
The Minister described Nigerian farmers as the very determined and hardworking workforce in the labour industry in the country, saying, “they work tirelessly even without assistance from government to improve the country’s economy and put food at the table for Nigerian homes. “We look at agriculture as an enterprising business and we assure Nigerians of better jobs from the type of growth that will result from it,” he added.
In his remarks, the North West Zonal Director, FMARD, Engr. Mathew Owolabi described the minister’s visit as a good and timely adding that this would encourage and enhance the capability of staff in the state office and the zone in general. He pledged the support of the entire North West to work arduously towards achieving its mandate and the next level agenda of Mr. President in the agriculture sector, in terms of job creation, economic growth and food security.
The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono has solicited for a stronger partnership and collaboration between Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Beyond Oil Initiative Nigeria (BoIN) towards boosting the Agribusiness Development and Job Creation in Nigeria.
The Minister, disclosed this when the Beyond Oil Initiative Nigeria Team led by the National Program Coordinator, Adanma Ogumka – Ekeji, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.
He noted that the Program would achieve the goal of the current administration’s next agenda in the Agric Sector and create the desired value chain, facilitate products standardization and promote global market access of Nigerian branded products with massive job creation and increase Internally Generated Revenue for the country.
Nanono stressed that there is need to promote global best packaging methods and branding of the products towards ensuring global market penetration.
He also said the programme would facilitate uniform grading and competitive pricing of Nigerian Agric products and boost mechanization /technology driven commercial production of selected viable exportable agricultural products.
In her remarks., the National Coordinator, BoIN, Adanma Ogumka – Ekeji informed that ‘’ the Program is working in Partnership with Alex Ekwueme Federal University ,Ndufu Ikwo Alike ( AE-FUNIA),Ebonyi State, FMARD and other International Organizations to achieve these set goals’’.
Ogumka -Ekeji further said that ‘’ we have foremost market access specialist/expert, working with leading global institutions and the government to develop and take back domestic and export markets of indigenous commodities which have been taken by other countries, thereby making Nigeria a dumping ground for own quality products’’.