Nigeria launches first Feeding project

By Ene Okwanihe

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is planning to support the youths with mechanised system of farming as it launches the first conference of the Feed the future Nigeria Agriculture Policy Project.

‘Promoting Agriculture Policy in Nigeria: Challenges and opportunities’ is the theme of the project.

Launching it in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister, Audu Ogbeh said; “Nigeria will have a bleak future in terms of food if we do not plan now …Nigeria consumes seven million tons of rice annually and the fact that we largely depend on other countries like Thailand for this much quantity of rice is a source of concern so we are introducing a mechanised farming to encourage our youths.’’

Agriculture ignored
“Over the last 30 years, we slowly ignored agriculture, we mocked farmers. We felt agriculture was a terrain of the incapable, the disfigured ones and for the poor peasant in the village and now we are hungry and angry,’’ Mr Ogbeh explained.

According to him, the need for the country to attain food sufficiency is not only for Nigerians but also for neigbouring country like Chad, Niger, Sudan and Mali.

Building Lakes and Dams
The minister stressed that the government has plans of building 10 Lakes and Dams in states to boost agricultural productivity and make food available all year round.

“We should be able to harvest fresh maize and fresh vegetables all year round,’’ Mr Ogbeh said.

He called on the youths to ponder seriously on farming not just to make money but to be sure Nigeria has a sustained source of food in the future.

The goal of the ‘Feed the Future Project’ is to promote inclusive agricultural productivity growth, improve nutritional outcomes and enhance livelihood resilience for men and women through an improved policy enabling environment.

Mercy Chukwudiebere