The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment towards sustaining the improvement in the commodity value chain in the Sector by tackling the issue of land access, soil fertility ,information ,input access ,production, among others. He stated that the Green Alternative’s framework featured the first pillar on productivity enhancement for commodity value chain development, incorporation of private investments and institutional alignment.
The Minister , represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu disclosed this during the Symposium/ Colloquium held on Wednesday 14, October 2020 at Chida International Hotel, in continuation of activities to mark the 2020 World Food Day with the Theme-GROW,NOURISH, SUSTAIN.TOGETHER,’’OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE’’.
The Minister stated that ‘’ this year’s theme is carefully selected by reorganizing the immediate need of current government’s effort to intensify production and processing across the value chain and meet domestic capacity in the shortest possible time with focus on closing the demand-supply gaps in the agricultural sub-sector that if not critically addressed might contribute to the global food crisis currently affecting the human race’’.
Nanono further stated that ‘’ the Ministry will ensure sustainable access, availability and affordability of quality food for all Nigerians and to be a significant net provider of food to the global community and in production of raw materials to meet the needs of the expanding industrial sector’’. This forum would provide ample opportunity to highlight the achievements of the Ministry along with the various sub-sector activities and the planned implementation road map for the various initiatives embarked upon by the present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari’’.
He pointed out that ‘’ streamlining the mandates and operations of research institutes and federal colleges in the sector, aligning the curricula of agricultural universities to best technology and entrepreneurial practices, restructuring the bank of agriculture to promote agro-allied enterprises, collaborating with finance institutions to facilitate credits to agribusiness initiatives, mainstreaming youth and gender productivity ’’.
The Minister explained that the initiative would widen employment opportunities and sustain the contribution of agriculture to the country’s gross domestic product, aiding livelihood and achieve food security.
He informed that ‘’the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) strategy would provide a disciplined approach to building an agribusiness ecosystem that would solve problems facing agriculture sector”, adding that “our primary focus in the agricultural sector is to ensure a virile foundation and from the implementation of the Green Alternative Policy’’.
The Minister lauded the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) immense contribution to agricultural development in Nigeria and other donor Agencies and NGOs particularly OXFAM, Action Aid Nigeria that have demonstrated commitment.
In his opening remarks, the FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Fred Kafeero, represented by Mr Abubakar Suleiman, said that the Organisation would continue to provide technical support for Nigeria’s government policies in the Agricultural sector. He disclosed Organization’s intervention of farmers in Borno and Yobe states by providing quality fertilizer and agricultural inputs amongst several other interventions.
In his Goodwill Message, the Chairman, the House of Representative, Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutes, Hon. Munir DanAgundi lauded the President Muhammadu’s policies in the Agricultural sector which he observed has enhanced food sufficiency, job creation and economic growth. He also pledged that the National Assembly would continue to support strong and robust laws for the betterment of Nigerians.
In his lead paper presentation with the Theme: Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. ‘’ our Action Our Future’’, the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture ,Nasarawa State University ,Prof. Olumuyiwa James Jayeoba, stated that the various organs of government and stakeholders should meet the needs of vulnerable populations through emergency food assistance and improved, more accessible, social safety nets.
Prof. Jayeoba also emphasized the importance of establishing evidence-based policies and legal support for sustainable food systems, such as regulations on nutrition, decent employment, and land resources.
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