Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, said the Federal Government is working assiduously to address the high food inflationary trend in the country.
The minister made this assurance in his New Year message jointly signed with his Minister of State, Sabi Abdullah.
He said they heard the complaints by citizens about the cost of food during the festive season, as well as the diminished purchasing power.
In his words: “We would like to assure Nigerians that we have heard their cries and are working assiduously to arrest the high food inflationary trend that has been on for some time.”
While speaking on the affordability of food which has been impacted by transportation, infrastructure impediments and exchange rate volatility, Kyari noted affordability as one of the critical indices of food security, along with availability, accessibility, sustainability and nutrition.
The Federal Government, he added, has been working to boost food production with the launch of dry season farming in November 2023, targeting wheat, rice, maize, and cassava.
He then appealed to farmers to continue to heed the expert advice of Extension Service Agents and called on all stakeholders in the agriculture and food security sector to be alert to the prospects and opportunities that the New Year presents.
The minister disclosed that, this year, they would not only round off the dry season farming which commenced in November last year, but also have the full wet season farming, and thereafter commence the next dry season farming.
“For us in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, a number of items in our Strategic Work Plan will equally gather pace in the New Year. This includes formalising the processes and procedures for bringing under cultivation the vast arable land currently lying fallow in the possession of federal institutions and establishments. Our goal in this regard is to significantly increase agricultural production in more secure environments,” he buttressed.
Disclosing that they would proceed with the reform of Bank of Agriculture (BOA) with the ultimate objective of enabling genuine farmers access affordable credit, he said this would be in addition to ramping up insurance for players in the agriculture and food security sector.
He said: “Our sights are also set on boosting animal husbandry, poultry and allied businesses, aquaculture, as well as agro-forestry.”
He then urged Nigerians to join hands to till the fertile lands and reap the abundant harvests.