Food Security: FG, Jigawa State collaborate to boost dry season wheat farming

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…Assures on reduction of inflated food prices

By Palma Ileye

In concerted effort to ensure food security in 2024 and beyond, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, FMAFS, in collaboration with the Jigawa State Government have entered into a collaboration to boost dry season wheat farming.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari while speaking during a courtesy call paid him by the Jigawa State Governor, Umar Namadi at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja, assured on reduction in inflation of food prices also saying that Government was committed to ensuring massive production in wheat farming.

Kyari stated that the second phase of the Dry/Wet Season Farming intervention was expected to commence soon also hoping and determined to make it a success.

He said that it was imperative to tackle the challenges observed on food security and ensure that they do not impede the agricultural development agenda saying that these challenges include reported cases of round-tripping in connivance with agro-dealers and poor validation of farmers’ data in parts of the participating States as the case of Jigawa State was remarkably different.

He said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security was fully committed to addressing the issues of round-tripping and poor validation of farmers’ data noting that Government was dedicated to implementing stringent measures in the forthcoming Dry/Wet Season Farming for Rice, Maize, and Cassava, to ensure transparent distribution and target genuine farmers.

He said that collaborations with States, Local Governments, traditional rulers, NGOs, and relevant MDAs will be crucial in achieving the desired objectives.

Also, seeking the support of all stakeholders in the agricultural sector to overcome the challenges and ensure a successful intervention despite time constraints.

“The second phase of the Dry/Wet Season Farming intervention is expected to commence this month, and we are determined to make it a success.

“Your visit signifies the strong partnership and collaboration between the State and the Federal Government in our collective efforts to ensure food security and agricultural development in Nigeria.

“Six weeks ago, precisely on the 25th of November, 2023, Your Excellency, members of your Cabinet, His Royal Highness, the Emir of Hadejia, and other dignitaries warmly received us at the official flag-off of the 2023/2024 Dry Season Farming at the Kadume farm cluster in Hadeija Local Government Area of Jigawa State.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to His Excellency for the remarkable successes achieved in the preparation of farmlands and distribution of agricultural inputs in Jigawa State in the ongoing wheat Dry Season Farming under the NAGS-AP program.

“We are also aware that you have personally moved round to supervise the exercise in the state. This is further reaffirmation of your credentials as a farmers’ Governor and enthusiastic promoter of food security. Your Excellency’s commitment to the efficient and transparent distribution of inputs is truly commendable, and serves as a model for other states to emulate.

“I would also like to extend profound appreciation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his unwavering support in our quest for food security in the country. The Ministry is focused onj ramping up massive production of staple crops using technology and mechanization to achieve this goal. We are grateful for the support and guidance of Mr. President as we work towards a more food-secure Nigeria.

“Furthermore, I would like to reiterate that the Ministry is fully aligned with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We are poised to implement our programs in line with his vision for the agricultural sector. We are determined to driving agricultural transformation, enhancing productivity, and ensuring that our farmers have the necessary support to thrive. Our goal also includes ensuring food security and driving down food inflation,” the Minister said.

He also commended the Executive Governor of Jigawa State for his efforts in agricultural development adding that, “I am confident that through our continued collaboration and dedication, we will overcome current challenges we face and achieve our collective goals for a more prosperous agricultural sector in Nigeria.”

The Governor on his part, said that the State was targeting 12,100 Millionaire rice farmers to ensure food security as well as various Agricultural Development programmes to bolster food security.

He stated that, “As of today we, have done 36,700, 87 hectares of wheat farming which is the official records, we still have an addition of 5,000 hectares, and 3,870 hectares, on the aggregate we have almost 50,000 hectares of wheat farm in Jigawa State.”

He appreciated the commitment of the Ministry to the project assuring that Jigawa State will continue to key into this project saying that, “We have the land and resources to promote wheat farming. We have put in place robust programmes that will assist us in dry season farming in the State.”

Governor Namadi added that the State was updating its farmers register, stating that, “So that by the time we start our rice season farming that will properly guide us. We are going to cooperate with you to ensure that we achieve success in this dry season farming.”