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FG to partner states on food security

The Federal Government says it will ensure food security in 2022 through collaboration with states to provide comprehensive farm inputs to rural farmers.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, stated this during a budget defence session before the House of Representatives Joint Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, and Rural Development.

He said it would be done through key stakeholders such as the Central Bank of Nigeria to promote financial inclusiveness in agricultural sector, mitigate adverse effects of COVlD-19 and support formers affected by incidents of flood disaster.

The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ernest Umakhihe said the key derivable in the 2022 budget include rehabilitation and construction of Water harvesting structures and mini-earth dams in states to augment rain-fed agriculture, assist dry season farming to increase agricultural production in the country.

He said the Ministry would also fast-track the re-capitalization of the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Cooperation and Bank of Agriculture in collaboration with CBN, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and Bureau Public Enterprises, BPE.

“Implement the Green imperative Project (GIP) in collaboration with the Brazilian Government that seeks to provide 10,000 units of Tractors; 50,000 units of assorted implement and equipment to be assembled in the country”. Ernest Umakhihe stated.

The Minister said support for the development of Private sector-led Agricultural commodity exchange would enable Nigeria become Agricultural Commodity Marketing hub in the West African Region and beyond.

According to the Minister, a total sum of N291.416 billion was proposed fort the agricultural sector in the 2022 fiscal year, out of which N71.840 billion is for Personnel Cost and N3.704 billion is proposed as Overhead Cost while the sum of N215. 872 billion is for capital projects and programmes.

Members of the House Joint Committee on Agricultural Production and Services and Rural Development expressed satisfaction with the 2021 budget implementation and the N291.416 billion 2022 proposals of the Ministry.

The Chairman of the Agricultural Production and Services Committee, Mohammed Dandutse, said that the panel was aware of the various efforts of the Federal \, overnment through policy formulation and special intervention programmes especially in areas of funding agricultural activities and creation of employment, as well as the devastating impact of COVlD-19 on the implementation of the 2021 budget performance.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Adeniyi