The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to tackling food insecurity and ensure Nigeria becomes a sovereign nation in Africa through its green alternative programme.
Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development made this known in Abuja during the World Food Symposium for 2020 World Food Day Celebration.
The World Food Day was established during the 20th Session of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) Conference in 1979, Italy, Rome.
It is celebrated annually on Oct. 16 in more than 180 countries of the World by all Member Nations of the UN in promoting worldwide effective action to end hunger, malnutrition, and poverty and ensuring that everyone at all times and place have physical and economic access to food.
The theme of this year is “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our actions are our future”.
Nanono, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry ,Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, said the ministry has also fashioned out a clear policy direction to provide a road map for the strategic implementation of key programmes and projects.
” The Green Alternative framework features the first pillar on productivity enhancement for commodity value chain development, as well as incorporation of private investments and institutional alignment.
” The policy represents the support instruments for addressing land access, soil fertility, information, input access, production, storage, processing and marketing.
” The pillar also deals with agribusiness financing and investment, infrastructure, youth and women, research, nutrition and earning significant foreign exchange from agriculture, as well as stakeholders’ roles in consultation with partners in the agriculture sector,” he said.
The minister said the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) strategy would provide a disciplined approach to building an agribusiness ecosystem that would solve the challenges currently facing the agriculture sector.
” Let me inform you that our primary focus is to ensure a virile foundation, flowing from the implementation of the Green Alternative Policy,” he said.
On recent achievements, Nanono said as a result of the Federal Government’s policy initiatives and innovative funding, a lot has been achieved in the sector.
” In 2017, Nigeria recorded significant achievement in the global agricultural sector. It ranked the first in Cassava and Yam production with 59.4 million tons and 47.9 million tons respectively.
” It also ranked 14th in Maize production with 10.42 million tons and 4th in Palm oil with 7.7 million tons in the same year.
” Furthermore, in 2019, Nigeria became the largest producer of rice in Africa with a production level of nine million metric tonnes.
” These are indeed a true testimony of our commitment to boosting agriculture and transforming the Nigerian economy through the sector,” he said.