By Abdallah el-Kurebe
The National President of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Alhaji Aminu Goronyo on Wednesday commended the Federal Government for inaugurating the National Food Security Council with a call for the inclusion of farmers in the council.
He said that the inauguration of the council by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday was not only timely but also commendable, adding that it would enhance food productivity as well as bring to a halt the persistent farmers-herdsmen clashes across the country.
“This is a welcome development. Our farmers will have full support, especially with the crops of individuals appointed to serve on the Council and with Mr President as the Chairman,” Goronyo said.
While saying that “Inaugurating the Food Security Council, was one of the good policies of Buhari administration,” he appealed to the council to work assiduously to roll out more ways of empowering, especially Nigerian rice farmers.
The membership of the National Food Security Council include the governors of Kebbi, Taraba, Plateau, Lagos, Ebonyi and Delta States.
Other members are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; the Chief of Staff to the President; the National Security Adviser and seven cabinet ministers.
The Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development, Finance, Interior, Industry, Trade and Investment, Water Resources, Environment and Budget and National Planning ministers are members of the council.
Other members include the Chief of Defence Staff, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Directors-General of the Department of State Services and the National Intelligence Agency as well as the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service.
The broad objectives of the council include developing sustainable solutions to farmers-herdsmen clashes, climate change, desertification and their impact on farmlands and grazing areas as well as lakes, rivers and other water bodies.
Others are oil spillage and its impact on Niger Delta fishing communities, piracy and banditry, agricultural research institutions, extension services and the menace of smuggling.
The council, in its assignment, is also expected to take cognisance of regional and global policies as well as trends which have implications on Nigeria’s food security.