Hunger: Tinubu’s govt set to release 42,000 metric tonnes of food – Presidency

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The Bola Tinubu administration is in the final stages of releasing 42,000 metric tonnes of assorted food commodities to support the vulnerable population across the country.

Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga disclosed this in a Friday statement.

Onanuga said that the process is being handled by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

According to the statement, the grains which are in seven locations of strategic reserve, are now being bagged for onward delivery to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

“The need to bag the grains, caused the delay as the bags were freshly ordered by government.

“Nigerians will not need to pay for the grain bags, as they are free.

“This will be complemented by the 60,000 metric tonnes of milled rice to be purchased by the Federal Government from the Mega Rice Millers,” the statement read in part.

It quoted the Minister of Agriculture, Senator Abubakar Kyari, as saying that there is already noticeable reduction in commodity prices across major grains markets in the country due to the announcement of the impending releases of food commodities from the Strategic Reserve.

Onanuga disclosed that the Federal Government is also ramping up food production by boosting Dry Season Farming under the National Agricultural Growth Scheme Agro-Pocket (NAGS-AP) Project, noting that the first phase of the Dry Season Farming was launched in November 2023.

It focuses on the cultivation of wheat across 15 wheat-producing states, covering 118,657 hectares and involving 107,429 farmers.

“The fields are green now and harvest will commence in a matter of weeks”, Kyari was quoted as saying.

“There are fantastic reports of growth of wheat from Jigawa State, which is now targeting harvest from about 50,000 hectares, 10,000 hectares more than initially allotted under the programme.

“Phase 2 of the Dry Season Farming will commence soon, across all 36 states of Nigeria and FCT.

“It will cover rice, maize, and cassava.

“For rice, the target is 250,000 hectares involving 500,000 farmers with the expected output of 1 million metric tons of paddy rice.

“For maize, we are cultivating 55,000 hectares with 110,000 farmers thereby adding 165,000 metric tons to national maize production while for cassava, we are doing 35,000 hectares with 70,000 farmers to produce 525,000 metric tons of cassava.

“The NAGS-AP Project offers a 50% subsidy. However, the Federal Government is providing additional support for Phase 2, which will bring aggregate subsidy to about 93 % to farmers cultivating the crops.

“Also various governors are showing strong support, to further enhance the subsidy.

“Additionally, solar-powered water pumps for irrigation, provided by the Federal Government, are being deployed to aid the upcoming phase of the programme.”

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