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’’.