Good News: Governors’ endorsement of food security programs
…claims that with year-round farming, food prices will soon decline.
…Governors want the Ministry to get back CBN’s agricultural programs.
The approval of the food security programs implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security by state governors on Monday was greeted with enthusiasm and optimism by the federal government.
During a courtesy visit to the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja, Senator Abubakar Kyari, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, welcomed Governors Abdul Rahman Abdul Razak of Kwara, Dr. Agbu Kefas of Taraba State, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State, and Ahmed Usman Ododo of Kogi State. The Governors expressed their strong political will and synergy in the agricultural sector between their previous visits and today’s (Monday) as well as those anticipated shortly.
To create an agricultural sector fit for a country as endowed as Nigeria with vast arable fertile land, abundant water resources, and an agricultural labor force, Kyari stated: “This visit is with no a doubt a huge approval for the progressive drive to develop much-needed collaboration among the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and State Governments.” This is not just a courtesy call, in my opinion.
“Your Excellencies, we are aware that over time, there has been a discernible improvement in the agricultural sector in each of your states.
The overarching goal we now want to achieve is a significant year-round rise in agricultural output, with the primary goals of lowering food inflation, generating employment, decreasing poverty, stimulating economic growth and development, and fostering inclusion. We are sure that we can work together to accomplish these goals.
“Future programs and projects will enable us more seamlessly achieve all-year-round agricultural production with positive consequences for Economic Empowerment, Inclusivity, and ultimately wider opportunities for Value Addition, Food, and Nutrition Security, as well as Industrialization if we get things right now and without a shadow of a doubt with all hands on the plow.”
“We have observed instances of certain conditions during the Wheat Production Program and currently as they get ready for the Second Phase.
These states have invested in solar-powered water pumps, power tillers, and other mechanized tools. They have also hired and trained Extension Agents, whose assistance is essential in introducing farmers to agricultural innovations and providing them with tools for better agronomic practices and anticipated increases in yields per hectare.
It was intimated, Your Excellencies, that the more active sub-national governments are, the more sustainable agricultural production increases and the greater the likelihood that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, will realize his interwoven 8-Point Agenda.
“I should also want to note that early state judgment of the sufficiency of 50% federal subsidies offered under the NASG Project is a critical success factor for the second phase. This is because some farmers in certain states were unable to provide the matching funds needed for the redemption of their input, which led to further state government subsidies for those farmers.
Nonetheless, the Minister guided for Second Phase farming season, which will start soon, to prevent the problems encountered during the first phase of farming.
In the meantime, Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, speaking on behalf of the four governors, stated that it is past time for the Tinubu-led administration to transfer all agricultural programs previously overseen by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) back to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to have a significant impact.
Abdulrazaq claims that a large amount of debt was recorded since the Anchor Borrowers Program was a failure and never achieved the goals and objectives that were established.
In addition, he boasted that Nigeria could feed all of West Africa, pointing out that since Nigeria has the least expensive food in the region, the majority of West African nations import food from Nigeria.
Additionally, he claimed that Nigeria, gifted by God with a large amount of fertile land and a populace, could easily feed itself and export, much like China, India, and other large nations do.
On the other hand, he urged State Governments to make significant investments in data to filter out intermediaries and their excesses, allowing actual farmers to obtain agricultural inputs for large-scale food production.
He also praised and acknowledged the Minister and his team for taking the initiative to work closely with State Governments to achieve the long-expected food security under President Bola Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope” Agenda. As a result, he called for the active role of River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs), such as the National Agricultural Lands Development Authority (NALDA), to begin clearing land for more agricultural activities along various value chains, as well as the revival of some States’ dormant Agricultural Development Programmes (ADPs).
He declared that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, on behalf of the State Governments, is prepared to assist the Federal Government’s programs.
“We urgently need to address food security in Nigeria right now. We now know that there is a new Ministry of Agriculture, among other things.