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Senate assures of agriculture, food security legislations



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The Nigerian Senate has indicated its commitment to legislation that would ensure food security in Nigeria.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Sen. Salihu Mustapha, said this at a meeting with officials of Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and some heads of agencies under the ministry. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Mustapha said that over the years, the senate had made several remarkable interventions and passed several laws to improve agriculture.

He,however, said, a lot needed to be done to achieve the goals of revamping agriculture in Nigeria in a shortest time.

He said the committee would continue to collaborate with the ministry and all stakeholders to promote diversification of oil dominated economy.

This, he said would be done by upscaling agricultural productivity through viable investment and enhancing farmers’ capacity to plug into untapped opportunities across the sector’s value chain.

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He also said senate would collaborate with the ministry to boost local food production with improved innovations to produce more food for local population and increase foreign exchange earnings and export the surpluses.

He said senate would ensure the reduction of soaring unemployment ratio amongst the youth through its legislative support for mechanisation to increase youths interest and attraction to the agricultural sector.

“The senate will push for implementation of the Maputo declaration to raise the budget for the agriculture sector to at least 10 per cent of the national budget from the current abysmal 1.96 per cent.

“This interactive meeting is therefore essential to understand where we were, where we stand presently and where we ought to be.

“With your cooperation and by the special grace of the Almighty we will do that which is best for our collective interest as a Nation and for those whose livelihood depends on this sector of our economy,” he said.
Sen. Abubakar Kyari, the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security, said the ministry was committed to ensuring the realisation of the agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

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Kyari said that six of the president’s agenda were agricultural related.

He said modern agriculture was dependent on mechanisation, technology and innovations, saying that Nigerian’s population was increasing and needed to move very smartly to achieve food security.

Kyari identified conflict, climate change,lack of inclusion of small holders farmers, mechanisation among others as some challenges bedeviling agriculture in Nigeria.

He, however, said the government was deeply committed to improving agriculture and ensure food security in line with agenda of Tinubu.

“When we came in, already the wet season farming has gone far, and it was at the point of harvesting.

“But we also have the dry season farming and in the dry season farming we have programmes that we have to cultivate 250,000 hectares of wheat, rice maize and cassava,

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“That is total package and of course this will be done with the cooperation of the subnational, the states and the local government councils.

“For now, the dry season farming, we have a programme that is spearheaded and funded by the African Development Bank,where we intend to cultivate up to 70 ,000 to 100,000 hectares or even more,” he said.

He said the government was also committed to exploring the production of wheat given its usefulness.

“Almost every one one every day eat wheat based food products.

“We need about 6 to 7 million tonnes of wheat every year in Nigeria.

“And it is important, because in the past, the idea was that we could not grow this wheat here , but recent development indicates that we can and there are new varieties of wheat that are drought resistant that are also heat resistant,” he said.

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