WFD: FG to sustain interventions in agric sector to increase productivity, grow nation’s GDP
By Nneka Nwogwugwu
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his administration’s commitment to sustain interventions in the Agricultural Sector to increase productivity, ensure food sufficiency and grow the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) .
He stated this at the National Agricultural Show in continuation of activities to mark this year’s World Food Day (WFD) celebration with the Theme: “Our Actions are our Future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life”.
The event was held at the National Agricultural Showground, Tudun Wada, KM 28, Abuja – Keffi, Nasarawa State recently.
The President, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, stated that the series of deliberate interventions by the administration has increased productivity in the sector, “as a result of the Federal Government’s policy initiatives and innovative funding in the sector, significant progress has therefore been made to improve agricultural productivity since the inception of the present Administration”.
President Buhari said ‘’ In an effort to diversify the economy, Federal Government has continued with its renewed focus on the agricultural sector, developed an array of policies, strategies and programmes, notable among which, is the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP), the Green Alternative, with the Anchor Borrowers programme initiative and ban on the importation of some agro-commodities.”
He explained that the initiative intended to create economic linkage between smallholder farmers and reputable large-scale processors with a view to increasing agricultural output to significantly reduce poverty, create job, assist rural farmers as well as to grow from subsistence to commercial production levels.
Buhari further said that ‘’ to boost food security, Nigeria has curbed imports and established a robust rice production programme to encourage more rice production at home. Efforts in this direction are yielding positive results as Nigeria is now Africa’s largest producer of Rice with a production level of 9 million metric tons”.
He added ‘’ the country is the largest producer of cassava and Yam production with 59.4 million tons and 47.9 in the world, ranked the 14th in Maize production with 10.42 million tons and 4th in Palm oil with 7.7 million tons, range of policies and initiatives to strengthen the rice, livestock, and fisheries and other value chains have been put in place to harness the potentials targeted for development’’.
“Following other array of policies and strategies such as National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan (NATIP) 2021-2024, Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI), National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) and National Gender Action Plan (NGAP) which had provided virile foundation to unlock the country’s agricultural potentials and set the sector on growth path that would sufficiently meet the domestic food requirements and export quality levels’’.
According to him ‘’ the programmes have created jobs for millions of youth and women and has reduced poverty, huge import bills and saves the country’s foreign exchange and It also envisages the deployment of innovative technologies in the agriculture sector for improved productive and product quality, reduction of waste and linkages for local and international investment, Buhari stated.