Farmers positive about new Agric Ministers, Ministry renaming for better food security

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Following a 24-hour period during which President Bola Tinubu assigned portfolios to soon-to-be-inaugurated Ministers, members of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) conveyed optimism about the newly appointed Ministers responsible for the sector.

They also welcomed the decision to rename the Ministry from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the President, AFAN, Ibrahim Kabir, on Thursday.

He maintained that the country supposed to be self-sufficient in most food value chains.

Kabir pointed out that when projects and programs oriented towards the people are conceived and executed in collaboration with stakeholders from the real sector, the agricultural industry can emerge as a prominent driver of the economy.

“The President’s decision to rename the Federal Ministry and Agriculture and Rural Development as Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, MAFS, speaks volumes of the Administration’s desire to make Nigeria food secure within a short time.

“Appointing relatively young people to drive the quest for the attainment of food security is also a step in the right direction,” the statement reads in part.

The AFAN president however pointed out that there are myriads of challenges in the food production and security sector, and the panacea is to ensure relevant ministries synergize to surmount them to achieve the Tinubu-led administration’s policies, programmes and projects for the nation’s agricultural sector.

“The myriad challenges of insecurity,flooding largely due to climate change, inadequate finance, challenges of inadequate inputs,low level of mechanization and reliance on rain-fed production, lack of processing, absence of seamless distribution of produce and its storage as well as consumption are obvious threats to our food system and call for synergy among all MDAs with cross-cutting responsibilities.

“The Ministries of Water Resources, Defence, Environment and Ecological management, Aviation, Transportation, Power, Finance, Trade & Investment as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Works and the new Ministry of Housing and Urban Development must work lockstep with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to fast track the attainment of food security in Nigeria.”

The president further called for incentives that would motivate Nigerians to upscale food production that would boost food security.

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