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’’.
The Executive Governor of Jigawa State and also Chairman, Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI), Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar has stated that the Initiative would be beneficial to the farmers and also grow the economy through the production of NPK 20-20 Fertilizers using locally sourced materials.
Mohammed Abubakar disclosed this in Abuja during an interview session at the end of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative’s meeting with the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Nanono in his office. He said through the production of fertilizers locally, the moribund fertilizer plants will be revived and it will in turn create employment for Nigerians.
The Governor said that his visit to the Minister was to brief him on the “preparation and planning for the production of fertilizers for the 2020 wet season”
Alhaji Abubakar further said that ‘’in order to improve on the production and ensure its availability and affordability to the Nigerian farmers, production will be increased and will be sold at a subsidized rate to the farmers, especially the NPK 20-20 , which is the most sort after by the farmers.
The governor also stated that the committee is considering the possibility of the exportation of the NPK 20-20 fertilizer, adding, “if it succeeds in getting phosphate in Sokoto and potash around Yobe, then there will be possibility of enriching its blend for export”.
The Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) was flagged-off in December 2016 by President Muhammed Buhari and it is aimed at supporting the domestic blending of NPK fertilizer towards reducing the challenges of the Nigerian farmers. The Nigeria fertilizer Industry possesses a blending capacity of 4 million tons of NPK annually and 2 million tons of production for Urea, with the capacity to employ over 250,000 people both direct and indirect jobs across the country.
Samuel O. Uzoegbu
For: Director Information FMARD 19TH September, 2019.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar has stated that maintaining a healthy diet would help the overall health of a person. He disclosed this in Abuja at the School Quiz Competition which is one of the events earmarked to celebrate 2019 World Food Day, with the theme: ‘’ our Actions are our Future. Healthy diets for A #ZeroHunger’’,
Addressing the students, Dr. Umar said , ‘’ my dear children, as you may be aware, a healthy diet is a diet that helps to maintain or improve the overall health of a person, it comprises of carbohydrate ,protein, fats & oil, water, mineral , salt and vitamins”. He noted that ‘’ a healthy diet is important because the organs and tissues in the human our body need proper nutrition to work effectively ,without good diet the body is prone to diseases, infection ,fatigue, poor performance and malnutrition, which experts says is the underlying cause of 45 percent of all deaths of under five years children worldwide’’.
The Permanent Secretary stated that the Federal Government recognized the role of healthy diet as a developmental issue, which has led to the development of a Food Guide by MDAs made up of Agriculture, Health, Environment, Information, Universities, among other sector.
Dr. Umar informed that ‘’ the Food Guide is a guide for healthy eating and for all Nigerians. It is a food pyramid that is divided into five food groups using locally produced food’’ ‘’At the bottom are bread, grains, and tubers, followed by vegetables and fruits eaten sparingly with confectionery, a glass of water is placed outside the pyramid with the advice to always drink lot of water, for full benefits of a healthy diet. He highlighted some of the benefits of healthy diet to include weight loss, reduced cancer risk, Diabetes Management, Healthy heart and stroke prevention, strong bones and teeth.
DR Umar applauded the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), OXFAM, Action Aid, Leventis Foundation Nigeria, for their continual contribution towards Agricultural Development in Nigeria.
In his remarks, FAO COUNTRY Representative in Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma, who was represented by the World Food Day Coordinator , Hajia Saadiya Haliru stated that ‘’ the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) fully recognizes the importance of food and nutrition security and assured that the organization remains focused on its mandate of raising the levels of nutrition and standards of living and ensuring humanity’s freedom from hunger by promoting sustainable agricultural development and alleviating poverty’’.
Koroma further said ‘’on our part, FAO has developed educational materials for universities, trained school’s curriculum developers as well as nutrition education professionals. This was as a result of a needs based assessment in seven countries that revealed a lack of adequate training for nutrition educators. FAO launched the nutrition course ENACT in 2015, IN partnership with African academic institutions, Nigeria inclusive’’
The School Quiz Completion had ten secondary schools in attendance namely; Nigeria Turkish International Colleges, Government Secondary School Tudun Wada Zone 4, Fou’ad Lababidi Islamic Academy Basic Education, Olumawu International School, WUSE 11, Government Secondary School, WUSE, Federal Government Day Secondary School, APO, Garki , Paris Africana International Secondary School among others.
The prizes for the Quiz Completion were awarded in the following order, first position – Nigeria Turkish International Colleges, Second place went TO Paris Africana International Secondary School, while Government Day Secondary School Garki came third.