By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The federal government has promised to achieve sustainable food production in the country by deploying improved varieties, expanding the cultivable land area and supporting agribusiness undertakings.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Muhammad Sabo Nanono, explained that this is “in line with the Ministry’s signed deliverables with the Presidency.”
Speaking at an event this week in Abuja, Mr Nanono stated that “the priority area for food security entails engagement with state and non-state actors to facilitate programmes to farmers on mechanisation, extension delivery, commodity production, storage facilities, agro-processing, grazing reserves, livestock transformation and fisheries.”
He said part of the ways his ministry has worked hard to achieve these goals include repositioning the agricultural research system, securing 20,000 to 100,000 hectares of land per state for agricultural use, and promoting agro and agro-allied cluster activities nationwide.
The Minister noted that the federal government will continue to work with agencies and agricultural research institutes in order to collectively deliver on its mandate, stressing that the collaboration would help to further strengthen sectoral linkages and promote import-substitution, enterprise development, value-added processing and economic diversification.
“For the ministry’s representatives on the boards of parastatals, you are to update your principals on vital issues resolved at board meetings while relaying the ministry’s position on such issues to respective parastatals board and management,” Mr Nanono said at a one-day retreat for CEOs and Chairmen of boards of agencies and parastatals of the ministry held on Thursday in Abuja.
The Minister assured that “the ministry, under my leadership, is open to constructive interface and will support any concept, initiative and strategy that can guide, facilitate and fast-track the implementation of policies, programmes and projects in the agricultural sector.”
In his remarks, the Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Mustapha Baba Shehuri, emphasised the need for consensus in the handling of the policy, sectoral and personnel matters in a manner that will resolve them amicably and forestall misrepresentation, misconception and poor guidance.
He expressed the need to strengthen the service delivery mechanism since much is expected from the sector to enhance the country’s capacity on food security, employment generation and wealth creation, noting that “only then will we be able to address the impact of the global health emergency and the high expectation of present administration on the agriculture sector.”
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