Food security: FG to increase wheat, rice, sorghum production

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The Federal Government on Wednesday, says it has taken steps to increase the production of wheat, rice, maize, sorghum and soyabean, through the provision of relevant farm inputs.

Dr Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, stated this at the stakeholders meeting for the implementation of National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro-pocket, and Agro Pocket (NAGs -AP) in Abuja.

He said the other relevant farm inputs are fertilizers, seeds, agro-chemicals among others to small scale farmers under both wet and dry season farming.

Umakhihe was represented by Dr Ibrahim Tanimu, the Director, Planning and Policy Coordination, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

National growth LS

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NAGs -AP is an ICT-based platform for the delivery of farm inputs such as Fertilizers, seeds, Agrochemicals and others to the farmers across the country.

Umakhihe said the goal of the National Agricultural Growth Scheme (NAGS), was to increase food production to crash the continued rise in the prices of agricultural commodities.

“The key objective is to increase the production of wheat, rice, maize, sorghum and soyabean through the provision of relevant farm inputs such as fertilizers, seeds, agro-chemicals among others to small scale farmers.

” Specifically, the project is targeted to support over 250,000 wheat farmers with relevant farm inputs to cultivate about 250,000 hectares with expected output of 1,250,000 metric tons of wheat.

“This is to be added to the food reserve with a view to reducing dependence on foreign importation of the product, and increase domestic consumption particularly for the flour millers,” he said.

The permanent secretary said the project aside supporting farmers with critical farm inputs for the production of the priority crops, would also provide institutional supports for better performances.

Earlier, the Director, Department, Farm Inputs Support Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Mohammad Sani, said  NAGS scheme was re-introduced to address the yearnings of the different value chain players.

He said the ministry would continue to partner relevant organisations,  to help the farmers attain their desired goals and increase conducive business environment for input operators to flour.

Sani was represented by Mr Francis Adole, Director  two, Department, Farm Inputs Support Services.

In a remark, Mr Ibrahim Arabi, National Programme Coordinator, Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Phase one (ATASP-1), said  the meeting was organised to sensitize the farmers and fashion out the way forward in the implementation of NAGS-AP.

” The capacity to produce needs to increase across the value chain, hence this meeting which is on the strategy for supporting farmers with subsidised inputs and also with the institutional capacity for increased productivity,”‘he said.(NAN)

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