05 30, 2024

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, on Monday, disclosed that the various interventions by the ministry in the agricultural sector had injected N309 billion into the economy within one year. He added that the interventions had generated about 60,000 jobs in various rural economies.

Speaking at the Ministerial Sectoral Update press briefing organised by the Ministry of Information and National Orientation as part of activities to mark the first year in office of the present administration, the minister said the government had aided the launch of dry season farming with cultivation of 118,657 hectares of wheat in 15 states in the acceleration of all-year-round farming.

He said the government had supported 107,429 wheat farmers with inputs resulting in an output of 474,628 metric tonnes.

Kyari stated that in response to the presidential directive, the ministry released 42,000metric tons of assorted food commodities from the FGN Strategic Food Reserve to NEMA for distribution to vulnerable Nigerians.

He said the ministry also procured and distributed 58,500 metric tonnes of milled rice to all states and the FCT to dampen escalating prices. To also boost food self-sufficiency, the minister disclosed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had approved the direct purchase of 2,000 tractors from John Deere, an agro-equipment manufacturing company to support the mechanisation of the agricultural sector.

He said the approval is in line with the government’s determination to ensure food security through mechanisation.

The minister explained that the president’s intervention came as a result of the inability of John Deere to meet an initial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it entered into with the federal government last year to assemble in-country and supply 10,000 tractors with implements and accessories at 2,000 units yearly due to some challenges beyond their control.

Kyari said 500 tractors are already on their way into the country, adding that the government remained committed to ensuring that farmers increase their production.

On the popular famous Achor Borrowers Programmes (ABP) which was launched by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but now appeared to have been suspended despite its benefits, the minister pointed out that said the programme had not been jettisoned stressing that it is currently been reviewed to learn from the mistakes made during its implementation.