FG earmarks N600bn to fight hunger



The federal government says it is set to inject over N600 billion into the agricultural sector in its effort to fight hunger by ensuring food security and sustainability in the country.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono who revealed this over the weekend while on a tour of Dangote Fertiliser plant in Lagos, said the funds which is to serve as stimulus response, is targeted at small scale farmers.

Director of Information in the Ministry, Mr Theodore Ogaziechi in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, said the minister also used the opportunity to hold crucial meeting with other fertiliser companies in Lagos State, to galvanise their cooperation for input production.

Nanono had explained that the N600 billion stimulus response which targets farmers nationwide will take off with an initial 2.4 million farmers in the first instance. He said to avoid the abuse of government funds and good intentions, the support will be in kind in form of inputs and not cash as was the practice in the past.

He added that the forceful closure of all International borders, necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has made it evident that Nigeria can conveniently and sustainably feed itself.

The minister who began his tour with a courtesy call on the governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo –olu, pledged to support the state farming communities with rural roads, solar lighting and water boreholes so as to encourage and empower them to increase productivity. He also promised to collaborate with Lagos State government in the fishing sector in order to tap the potentials of its marine endowments and drastically reduce the importation of fish in Nigeria.

In his response, Babajide Sanwo – Olu who had received the minister in company of his deputy,  Dr Obafemi Hamzat and other state officials, promised to collaborate with the federal government not only in the fishing sector but also to join forces in the federal government’s effort to embark on mechanized farming.

Sanwo -olu while recognising agriculture as a critical component of development, stated that he will complement federal government’s effort when he completes his project, the largest rice mill in Nigeria with a capacity to mill approximately 30 million Metric Tons of rice per annum. This he said will help Nigeria focus more on exportation of rice and downward review of prices at the retail market.

The governor said that Lagos State is presumably the largest retail market for agricultural products as well as the largest enabler in the industry with Dangote Fertilizer Plant cited in its domain.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here