In a bid to enhance food security, the Federal Government has announced its plans to increase the production of wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, and soybeans by providing essential agricultural inputs. Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, made this declaration during a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja, where the implementation of the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro-pocket (NAGs-AP) was discussed.
Dr. Umakhihe, represented by Dr. Ibrahim Tanimu, the Director of Planning and Policy Coordination, emphasized that small-scale farmers engaged in both wet and dry season farming would receive fertilizers, seeds, agrochemicals, and other necessary inputs. The primary objective of the National Agricultural Growth Scheme (NAGS) is to increase food production and alleviate the rising prices of agricultural commodities.
“To achieve this objective,” Umakhihe stated, “we will focus on enhancing the production of wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, and soybeans by providing relevant inputs such as fertilizers, seeds, and agrochemicals to small-scale farmers.” The project aims to support over 250,000 wheat farmers, providing them with the necessary inputs to cultivate approximately 250,000 hectares of land and yield an expected output of 1,250,000 metric tons of wheat.
Umakhihe further emphasized that this initiative would contribute to the country’s food reserves, reducing the dependence on foreign imports and ensuring increased domestic consumption, especially by flour millers. Additionally, the project will provide institutional support to enhance overall performance in the agricultural sector.
Mr. Mohammad Sani, the Director of Department, Farm Inputs Support Services at the Ministry of Agriculture, highlighted the reintroduction of the NAGS scheme to address the needs of various stakeholders in the agricultural value chain. He affirmed the ministry’s commitment to partnering with relevant organizations to assist farmers in achieving their goals and to create a favorable business environment for input operators.
During the meeting, Mr. Ibrahim Arabi, the National Programme Coordinator of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Phase One (ATASP-1), explained that its purpose was to sensitize farmers and develop strategies for the successful implementation of NAGS-AP. Arabi stressed the importance of increasing production capacity throughout the value chain and the significance of providing subsidized inputs and enhancing institutional capacity to improve productivity.