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FG Declares Food Security Emergency, To Begin  Aggressive Dry Season Farming  November

Daud Olatunji

In response to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s declaration of a national state of emergency on food security, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is gearing up for an ambitious push into dry season farming, set to kick off in November 2023.

Senator Abubakar Kyari, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, made the announcement during a recent press conference in Abuja. 

The minister highlighted the renewed hope agenda of President Tinubu and assured the public that as the harvest season begins, food prices will start to decline.

As part of the preparations for dry-season farming, Senator Kyari revealed that the certification of planting materials for various food crops is currently underway. 

The ministry is also undertaking the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro Pocket (NAGS-AP) project, funded by the African Development Bank, with the goal of producing 70,000 hectares of wheat and an expected yield of 875,000 metric tons for the national food reserve.

Furthermore, advanced plans are in motion for dry season farming of rice, maize, and other horticultural crops.

 A National Agriculture and Food Security Summit is scheduled for November to bring together stakeholders and develop a National Action Plan for food security with a sustainable strategy.

Senator Kyari also unveiled upcoming activities, including a review of fertilizer and agro-pesticide distribution processes during the National Agriculture and Food Security Council (NCAFS) meeting in November. 

The ministry’s short-term priorities between 2023-2024 involve analyzing and mapping agricultural stakeholders, strengthening institutions, and establishing new national gene bank facilities for crop and animal genetic resource conservation.

In the medium term, from 2021-2026, the ministry plans to develop digital and ICT-based agro-industry systems, electronic-extension platforms, and a comprehensive soil fertility mapping and information system.

 The livestock sector will receive special attention, ensuring meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and other protein sources are adequately supported.

Moreover, a modern e-wallet system using fintech solutions will be implemented for efficient financial disbursements directly to beneficiaries. 

These initiatives represent a substantial effort by the Federal Government to bolster food security and agricultural sustainability in Nigeria.

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