The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has revealed that 88.4 million people in Nigeria are living in extreme poverty.
Mr Temitope Fadeshemi, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry made the disclosure on Wednesday in Kaduna during the distribution of farm inputs and empowerment materials to 250 smallholder farmers.
He said, ”the level of poverty in Nigeria is alarming. An estimated population of 88.4 million people in Nigeria is living in extreme poverty.
”The number of men living on less than 1.90 U.S. dollars a day in the country reached around 44.7 million, while the count was at 43.7 million for women.
”Overall, 12.9 per cent of the global population in extreme poverty was found in Nigeria as of 2022.
”This is why the Federal government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning in collaboration with FMAFS is making conscious efforts at reducing the spate of poverty across the country.”
According to Fadeshemi, the event marked a significant milestone in the Federal Government’s collective commitment to uplifting the lives of smallholder farmers and fostering sustainable agricultural practices.
He added, ”I am delighted to remind you that NPRGS, in collaboration with the Federal Department of Agricultural Extension Service (FDAE), has diligently enumerated and validated approximately 250 farmers for participation in this transformative programme.
”These farmers are not just the backbone of our agricultural sector; they are the heartbeat that forms the heartbeat of our nation’s prosperity.
”The NPRGS reflects our government’s dedication to addressing poverty at its roots, emphasizing the pivotal role agriculture plays in economic growth and development.
”Through initiatives like today’s training and empowerment programme, we are sowing the seeds of positive change, ensuring that smallholder farmers have the knowledge, resources, and support needed to thrive in an ever-evolving agricultural landscape.”
Speaking further, Fadeshemi said that the programme was not merely an investment in agriculture; but an investment in the future of the nation.
He said, ”As we equip these farmers with the tools to enhance productivity, improve resilience, and embrace sustainable practices, we are laying the foundation for a more resilient and prosperous agricultural sector.
”I commend the efforts of the FDAE for their meticulous work in identifying and validating deserving farmers for this programme.
”The collaboration between our Ministry and the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) exemplifies the power of synergy in achieving meaningful impact.
”To the participating farmers, I say this: your role is paramount in shaping the trajectory of our nation’s agricultural success.
”As you undergo this training and empowerment journey, absorb the knowledge, hone your skills, and apply the insights gained to elevate your farms and communities.”
According to the permanent secretary, the success of farmers is intertwined with the prosperity of the nation, adding ” together, we shall create a ripple effect that reaches every corner of our beloved country.
”Let us embrace this opportunity to build a future where smallholder farmers are not just beneficiaries of progress but active contributors to our nation’s growth.
”With determination, collaboration, and a shared vision, we can transform challenges into opportunities and empower our agricultural sector to lead the way towards a more resilient and prosperous Nigeria.
”It is my hope that this program may be the catalyst for a brighter, more bountiful future for all.”
Dr Timkat Nanfa, the State Coordinator of the ministry expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for counting the state worthy to be part of the beneficiaries of the programme.
He urged the participants to make good use of the empowerment, saying inputs will help them in their farm operations and also fight poverty.
He listed the items as; 175 bags of organic fertilizers, 175 sprayers, 65 bags of maize seeds bags and 71 bags of rice seeds.
Others were: 14 tins of tomato seeds, 14 tins of pepper seeds, Okra seeds tins, 1,000 poultry chicks, 40 bags of poultry feeds and 50 bags of fish feeds, among others.