By Adelola Amihere
As part of measures to boost food security and promote agro and agro-allied cluster activities, the Federal Government has disclosed that it has started acquiring 20,000 – 100,000 hectares of land from each state for agricultural use.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono who stated this over the weekend during a meeting with Chief Executives of parastatals and top management of the ministry in Abuja explained that it will deploy improved varieties to the agro allied clusters aside expanding cultivable land area to the boost food production.
The minister who also reiterated government’s determination to fill the gap and consolidate on the achievements recorded under the agricultural promotion policy added that the ministry has taken pragmatic approach of repositioning the agricultural research system, and is securing hectares of land from states for agricultural use.
He mentioned that in line with the deliverables the ministry signed with the Presidency to ensure food security they are prioritizing engagement with state and non-state actors to facilitate programmes to farmers on mechanization, extension delivery, commodity production, storage facilities, agro-processing, grazing reserves, livestock transformation and fisheries.
The Minister however charged the Chief Executive officers to be committed to the growth of the sector and comply with the established protocols of channeling policies, views and requests from the Executive Managements through the growing the sector, we must comply with the established protocols of channeling policies, views and requests from the executive managements through the governing boards of parastatals to the authorities of the ministry.
In his remarks, the Director General Nigeria Institute of Soil Science Prof Victor Chude noted that it is the responsibility of the federal ministry of Agriculture to ensure food security which makes the directives by the minister very apt as agencies must be guided by the directives and ensure its implemented.
He however attributed the high cost of food in the market to the Covid-19 pandemic, insecurity, high cost of transportation saying government is aware of those issues and is making possible efforts to address the challenges.