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FG Outlines Strategies to Guarantee Food Security, Nutrition Sustainability

The Federal Government has outlined strategies that will guarantee food security, affordability and the right nutrition on a sustainable basis in the country.

The focal areas hinged on integration, sustainability and resilience with immediate, short, medium and long-term goals included.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, made this known at the ministerial news conference tagged, ‘Way Forward for Nigerian Agriculture towards delivering the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu’.

He said the immediate and most pressing action the ministry is handling at the moment includes preparation for the next dry season farming from November.

According to him, preparatory activities have been carried out regarding the certification of available planting materials for some food security crops.

” Reviewing the mechanisms and processes for delivering fertilisers and agro pesticides input to farmers under a transparent and accountable regime,” he added.

Kyari said preparations are at an advanced stage for dry season planting of rice, maize and other horticultural crops.

He noted that short-term priority actions from 2023 to 2024 include strengthening agriculture and food security institutions and repositioning them for the tasks ahead.

“We establish two new national gene bank facilities each for crop and animal respectively to conserve our fast-eroding genetic resources for food security.

“Develop a National Framework for proper coordination and alignment of all ongoing and future development partners’ projects to our national priorities among others, “he said.

Kyari explained that the ministry was committed to providing the desired leadership to steer the agriculture and food security sector towards the attainment of key priorities of President Tinubu’s eight-point agenda, unveiled in August.

The priorities agenda, he said includes food security, economic growth and job creation, poverty eradication, and inclusivity of women and youths.

Read Also: Poor Quality Standards Threaten Food Security, Says FAO

Others, he noted are enabling an environment for individuals, groups and the private sector to participate in governance and economic activities.

The minister decried the challenges currently bedeviling the country’s food system ranging from insecurity, erosion flood, climate change, desert encroachment, and unemployment among others.

He said “Northern Nigeria is hounded by desert encroachment on once arable land, the south is pounded by the rising tide of coastal flooding and erosion.

“While in the middle, we have the rainy season brings floods that kill and displace multitudes.

“The current state of food is threatened by issues of availability and affordability.”

Kyari said malnutrition and the rate of food inflation require that stakeholders work all year round to ensure increased food production.

This he noted entails putting in place measures to make food available, accessible, affordable and of the right nutrition on a sustainable basis.

“The underlying challenge calls for innovative and trending solutions. These solutions are better understood when we recount the challenges of insecurity, youth unemployment and increasing population.

“Attendant competition for the same prime agriculture and land for mass housing scheme and other competing developmental projects,” he said.

Kyari said the challenge required not just a change in tactics and approach but an injection of innovations, skills, techniques, technology and value orientation.

The minister, who identified climate change as having a very high impact and high likelihood, emphasised the need to mitigate and plan for it in order to guarantee sustainable food and nutrition security for the populace.

In his remark, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Aliyu Abdullahi, said the ministry was committed to helping the president achieve his ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ for Nigerians.