The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar said the Federal Government has lifted a total of 4,205,576 Million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.
He made this declaration in Abuja on Friday October 15, 2021, during the Ministerial Press Briefing to mark the 2021 World Food Day tagged “Our Actions are our Future. Better production, Better nutrition, a Better environment and a Better life”.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that, after
President Buhari’s democracy day speech, Nigerians have been asking where the 4.2million people lifted out of poverty came from, considering that more people had been plunged into hunger and poverty within the last two years.
Dr. Mahmood Abubakar said that the feat was achieved through the Ministry’s strategic policies and programmes and by extension the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 of the President Muhammadu Buhari led Government, which saw agriculture as the alternative to oil for meaningful economic diversification.
He explained that the ERGP envisaged that investment in agriculture could guarantee food security, have the potential to be a major contributor to job creation, and will save foreign exchange required for food imports.
He highlighted programs the ministry embarked on to improve the agricultural sector of the country. This includes:National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP), Training and empowering of 2,205,576 farmers/youths/women on different agricultural value chains, The Green Imperative programme, National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP), The National Accelerated Fish Production Programme amongst others.
The Agric Minister further disclosed that his ministry partnered the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative to ensure adequate domestic production and marketing of NPK fertilizers at affordable commercial rate and timely delivery to farmers.
He stressed that ‘’ to improve access to farmland and evacuation of produce, we have construction of 393.45km of Ashpalt and 271.8km Earth road in rural areas along farm settlement routes thereby reducing the cost of transportation of agricultural commodities by 49% to demand/storage outlets’’.
In his remarks, FAO Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Fred Kafeero, said that “everyone of us has a role to play in ending hunger by changing the way we produce, adding value to our food products, making food choices that improve our health; and by reducing wastage and loss of our food.”
Mr. Kafeero stated the need for government to focus on targeted interventions on research and development to make farming more technologically advanced, innovation in digital agriculture and re-skilling young people and improving literacy rates among women. He added that other essential elements such as better data, governance and institutions needs to be included.