Agric Minister Boasts of 60,000MT Grains in Strategic Reserves
The Minister of Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar has disclosed the availability of 60,000 metric tonnes of grains in silos across the country, under the national strategic grain reserve.
Abubakar made this known at the weekly Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja.
The minister noted that through an aggressive agricultural policy, about 3.6 million indirect jobs were created from $1.113 billion (N461.9 billion) worth of externally funded projects being implemented by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Also, he recalled that $538 million was approved for the special agricultural processing zones (SAPZ) to support an inclusive and sustainable agricultural development in Nigeria, adding that another project worth $575 million was being implemented to improve rural access and agricultural marketing in participating states, such as Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau and Sokoto.
Abubakar said the government is strengthening the financing institutional base for effective development, maintenance and management of rural roads network, stressing that it was also implementing the Value Chain Development Programme Additional Financing (VCDP-AF) 2020- 2024 to enhance, on a sustainable basis, incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in the production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava.
According to him, the VCDP-AF project is currently being implemented in nine states including Niger, Benue, Ogun, Ebonyi, Taraba and Anambra, Nasarawa, Kogi and Enugu to scale up the achievement recorded in the original VCDP states.
Furthermore, responding to soaring food prices, Abubakar said the situation was not a peculiar challenge to Nigeria, pointing out that it was a reflection of the global economic value chain system.
However, the minister added that Nigeria being a part of the international community is exploring ways to manage the situation according to its own peculiarities as a nation.