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State Governors Rally To Avert Impending Food Crisis in Nigeria

By Egbodo Queen

The Governors of Kwara, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq; Taraba, Agbu Kefas; Ondo, Lucky Aiyedatiwe; and Kogi, Ahmed Ododo, convened at the Abuja headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to push for accelerated crop production, aiming to ensure food security across Nigeria.

This significant event unfolded on Monday, with the overarching goal of combating food inflation and impending food shortages.

Abdulrazaq, who also serves as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, conveyed to the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, the critical importance of prioritizing food security.

He underscored that Nigeria’s food production is pivotal not only for domestic sustenance but also for maintaining economic stability in West Africa.

Addressing concerns raised by the recent protests, particularly the one witnessed in Niger State where residents expressed anguish over rising food prices and harsh living conditions, Abdulrazaq highlighted the shortcomings of the Anchor Borrowers Programme under the former administration of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

He urged the agricultural minister to intensify efforts to achieve the government’s food security objectives, emphasizing the vital role of state governors in collaborating with the ministry.

“We must focus on enhancing our yield and promptly delivering to the Nigerian populace,” stated Abdulrazaq.

He articulated the aspiration of reaching a point where Nigeria can export its surplus food production, leveraging its position as the regional leader in agricultural output.

Furthermore, Abdulrazaq noted a shift in engagement with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture under the current administration, contrasting it with the previous years’ experiences where collaboration was lacking.

He commended the government’s renewed commitment to prioritizing food production and emphasized the need for synergy between federal and state authorities.

Kyari, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, hailed the visit of the four governors as a significant endorsement of the collaborative efforts between the federal ministry and state governments.

He emphasized the broader vision of significantly increasing agricultural production throughout the year to alleviate food inflation, generate employment, reduce poverty, foster economic growth, and promote inclusivity.

Kyari outlined the strategic importance of the upcoming agricultural programs and projects aimed at achieving year-round production.

He urged the governors to ensure the readiness of their respective states for optimal participation in the cultivation of rice, maize, and cassava, emphasizing the importance of land preparation, ownership verification, and comprehensive participation in the agricultural value chain.

The minister highlighted the investment made by some states in acquiring mechanized implements and recruiting extension agents, essential for disseminating agricultural innovations to farmers across the country.

In conclusion, the meeting between the governors and the agriculture minister marks a pivotal moment in Nigeria’s agricultural agenda, with a renewed commitment to collaborative efforts aimed at averting food crises and ensuring sustained food security nationwide.

 

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