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Minister seeks stakeholders’ collaboration on food security

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Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has sought the collaboration of stakeholders in the agriculture sector on ensuring food security in the country.

He made the call at a retreat organised by the Ministry for chief executive officers and chairmen of governing boards of parastatals/agencies.

The focus of the event was “Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture”.

According to him, the retreat aims at revisiting existing synergy and strengthening collaboration on developing the agriculture sector of the Nigerian economy.

While noting that agricultural research institutes had enormous task of ensuring food security, Nanono said that all hands must be on deck for the sustenance of the production of rice and maize in the country.

” I am emphasising these two commodities that have become political commodities; all eyes are on these, you will hear a lot if price of rice goes, a lot of noise, if price of maize goes up, a lot of noise, compared to other commodities.

“These two commodities, we have to be up and doing; we have to deliberately promote and ensure the safety of these political commodities.”

Nanono said that government acknowledged that agriculture was a medium for strengthening strategic partnership and sectoral linkages for import-substitution, enterprise development.

“In line with the ministry’s signed deliverables with the Presidency, 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 and storage.”

The minister further said that government was determined to fill the gap and consolidate on the achievements recorded under the Agricultural Promotion Policy which focused on productivity enhancement, institutional realignment and private sector investment.

“At the moment, the ministry took pragmatic approach of 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.

“Expectations are to deploy improved varieties, expand cultivable land area and support agribusiness undertakings in the country.”

In a welcome address, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Mu’azu Abdulkadir, noted that this administration prioritised agriculture as a key sector for ensuring food security, employment generation and wealth creation.

“Efforts in this direction are continuous engagements of state and non-state actors in the facilitation of an enabling environment for agribusiness undertakings across the nation.”

Abdulkadir said that the sector was grossly affected by COVID– 19 pandemic in the operation of agribusiness undertaking and the needed alignment of programmes and projects of the ministry with that of the agencies and parastatals.

In a goodwill message, Chairman House Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions, Hon. Munair Dan-Agundi said that the committee would ensure that the mandates of the agricultural institutions were realised.

He also commended the ministry for the way and manner with which it has structured the institutes which has helped in the realisation of their mandate.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN

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