By Mustapha Salisu
As part of efforts to ensure staple foods are available and affordable in both short and immediate terms, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has ordered the release of 200,000 Metric Tonnes of grains from strategic reserves to households across the 36 states and FCT to moderate prices.
President Tinubu gave the directive today (Monday) during a National Broadcast to Nigerians on the current economic hardship bedevilling the country.
The President explained that to further ensure prices of food items remain affordable, the FG has had a multi-stakeholder engagement with various farmers’ associations and operators within the agricultural value chain.
President Tinubu disclosed that the Federal Government will be providing 225,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer, seedlings and other inputs to farmers who are committed to the Government’s food security agenda.
He also explained that the FG’s plan to support the cultivation of 500,000 hectares of farmland and all-year-round farming practice remains on course.
Adding that N200 billion out of the N500 billion approved by the National Assembly will be disbursed in the following manner:
“Our administration will invest N50 billion each to cultivate 150,000 hectares of rice and maize. While the sum of N50 billion each will also be earmarked to cultivate 100,000 hectares of wheat and cassava” The President pledged.
Tinubu equally assured that this expansive agricultural programme will be implemented targeting small-holder farmers and leveraging large-scale private sector players in the agric business with strong performance records.
Adding that the expertise of Development Finance Institutions, commercial banks and microfinance banks will be tapped into to develop a viable and an appropriate transaction structure for all stakeholders.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu concluded his address by assuring Nigerians that the country is exiting the current state of darkness to enter a new and glorious dawn as the Federal Government is working closely with states and local governments to implement interventions that will cushion the pains of Nigerians across socio-economic brackets.