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April 14, 2024

Availability, Affordability of Food, Water Crucial for Livelihood – FMWRS

The Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation has emphasized the need for matters related to the availability and affordability of food and water, considered crucial for livelihood, to fall under the purview of the National Security Council.

During the 30th meeting of the National Technical Committee on Water Resources and Sanitation (NTCWRS), Shehu Aliyu, the Permanent Secretary of FMWRS, expressed concerns about challenges affecting water resources and food security.

Shehu highlighted that the Federal Government, in alignment with the Renewed Hope of the current administration, declared a State of Emergency on Food Security to combat food inflation.

The Permanent Secretary shall the ministry has implemented strategic plans to address the increasing cost of food in the nation.

According to him: “There is need for an urgent synergy between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation to ensure adequate irrigation of farmland and to guarantee that food is produced all year round.

“Engage our security architecture to protect the farms and the farmers so that farmers can return to the farmlands without fear of being attacked.

“The twelve (12) River Basin Development Authority (RBDAs) ensure the planting of crops during the dry season with irrigation schemes that will guarantee continuous farming production all year to stem the seasonal glut and scarcity.

“The need to cultivate 500,000 hectares of farmland nationwide to grow maize, rice, wheat and other staple crops.”

The Ministry has introduced three flagship programs: Water for Expanded Irrigation Agriculture Programme (WEIRPRO), Partnership for Expanded Irrigation Programme (PEIRPRO), and River Basin Strategy for Poverty Alleviation (RS-SPA).

Shehu clarified that these programs commenced with the launch of the dry season farming, encompassing 120,000 hectares of land in Jigawa State in November 2023. This initiative is a collaborative effort between the Federal Government and Jigawa State under the National Wheat Development Programme.

He expressed confidence that the anticipated outcome of these interventions is the creation of 5 to 10 million jobs within the agricultural value chain for the country’s young population.

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