The Federal Government of Nigeria has once again reiterated its commitment to promote and develop agriculture as key factor to Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, gave the commitment today during the sensitization walk which kicked off the activities for the 2018 World Food Day celebration with the theme: “Our Actions are our Future. A Zero Hunger by the year 2030 is possible” in Abuja.
The Hon. Minister noted that the policy of the current administration in the agriculture sector is founded on a number of principles which include treating agriculture as business; food as human right; adoption of value chain approach and prioritizing crops; factoring climate change and environmental sustainability to agricultural production; encouraging the practice of nutrition-sensitive agriculture as well as linking agriculture with other sectors of the economy.
The Minister who was represented by the Director, Planning, Policy Coordination and Monitoring Department in the Ministry – Mr. Nasiru Adamu said various policies of the current administration in the agricultural sector have started to yield fruits especially in the area of rice production, a development which is making Nigeria to become self- sufficient in rice production, “It is now evident that we are on the path to becoming self- sufficient in rice production. Indeed I have no doubt in my mind that Nigeria can be a model for Africa and the world if we join forces and act on evidence. No nation in the world can attain food security if it depends on food importation”, he stated.
Ogbeh assured that the Ministry is working assiduously to achieve zero hunger in the country through the introduction of various initiatives like provision of fertilizers and other inputs, reduction of post- harvest losses and the expansion of market access. He did not forget to mention the deepening of financial sector engagement with agribusiness value chains and improvement of ease of doing agribusiness in Nigeria’s Agriculture sector.
Chief Ogbeh also congratulated the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of FAO as an Organization and 40th Anniversary of its existence and remarkable achievements in Nigeria.
He described this year’s theme as apt especially with the impact of climate change on food production and food security all over the world, saying that, zero hunger can only be achieved if government, private sector and development partners work in collaboration to fight hunger, extreme poverty and malnutrition.
In his remarks at the occasion, the Country Representative of Food and Agriculture organization (FAO), Mr. Suffyan Koroma said for Nigeria to be free from hunger by year 2030 requires effective legislation, development in energy, transportation, education and legal framework among others are to be put in place for agriculture sector to survive and achieve zero hunger in the nearest future.
“Nigeria should be free from hunger by the year 2030. But that does not rest in agriculture as we know it, it goes beyond Agriculture we have to look to other complimentary services of agriculture, they are equally variables as what we produce from the farm. If we produce without adding value, it does not make sense. How do we control animal diseases, pests, conflicts, flooding are the issues to be considered” he stated.
He also explained that his organization which has its Nigeria office since forty years ago and has been contributing in area of crop farming, livestock, forestry, fishing, among others.
Other activities lined up to mark this year’s World Food Day celebration include Quiz competition among secondary schools in FCT; Symposium/ Photo Book Exhibition; Unity Food Fair and National Youth Summit while Agricultural Show / Exhibition will round up the activities on October 16, 2018 at Km 28, Abuja Keffi Express Way, Tundun Wada, Nassarawa state.
Samuel O. Uzoegbu.
For: Director Information
October 9, 2018