The Federal Government has outlined strategies that will guarantee food security, affordability and right nutrition on a sustainable basis in the country.
The focal areas hinge on integration, sustainability and resilience with included immediate, short, medium and long term.
Sen. Abubakar Kyari, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, said this at the ministerial news conference tagged: “Way Forward for Nigerian Agriculture towards delivering the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu”.
Kyari said the immediate and most pressing action the ministry is handling at the moment include preparation for the next dry season farming from November.
According to him, preparatory activities have been carried out regarding certification of available planting materials for some food security crops.
”Reviewing the mechanisms and processes for delivery fertilisers and agro pesticides input to farmers under a transparent and accountable regime,” he said.
He said that preparations are at advance stage for dry season farming of rice, maize and other horticultural crops.
Kyari said short-term priority actions from 2023 to 2024 include strengthening agriculture and food security institutions and repositioning them for the tasks ahead.
“We establish two new national gene bank facilities each for crop and animal respectively to conserve our fast-eroding genetic resources for food security.
” Develop a National Framework for proper coordination and alignment of all ongoing and future development partners projects to our national priorities among others, “he said.
He said the ministry was committed to providing the desired leadership to steer the agriculture and food security sector towards the attainment of key priorities of President Tinubu eight-point agenda, unveiled in August.
The priorities agenda include food security, economic growth and job creation, poverty eradication, inclusivity of women and youths.
Others, he said are enabling environment for individuals, group and the private sector to participate in governance and economic activities.
The minister decried the challenges currently bedeviling the country food system ranging from insecurity, erosion flood, climate change, desert encroachment, unemployment among others.
He said “northern Nigeria is hounded by desert encroachment on once arable land, the south is pounded by the rising tide of coastal flooding and erosion.
”While in the middle, we have the raining season brings floods that kill and displace multitudes.
“The current state of food is threatened by issues of availability and affordability.”
Kyari said that malnutrition and rate of food inflation require that stakeholders work all year round to ensure increased food production.
This he said this entails putting in place measures to make food available, accessible, affordable and of right nutrition on a sustainable basis.
” The underlining challenge calls for innovative and trending solutions.
“These solutions are better understood when we recount the challenges of insecurity, youth’s unemployment and increasing population.
”Attendant competition for the same prime agriculture and land for mass housing scheme and other competing developmental projects,” he said.
Kyari said the challenge required not just a change in tactics and approach but injection of innovations, skills, techniques, technology and value orientation.
The minister who identified climate change as a very high impact and high likelihood, emphasised the need to mitigate and plan for it in order to guarantee sustainable food and nutrition security for the populace.
In his remark, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Aliyu Abdullahi, said the ministry was committed to helping the president achieve his “Renewed Hope” Agenda for Nigerians.