Embrace agriculture for food security – Ministry

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The Ministry of Budget and National Planning has urged Nigerians to embrace agriculture to ensure food security.

Mr Sam Eloho, Director of Economic Growth in the ministry, made the call during a stakeholders’ consultative meeting in Lagos.

The meeting was organised by the ministry in collaboration with Actionaid and Oxfarm.

According to Eloho, the meeting is convened to facilitate conversation among stakeholders in the agricultural sector.

“It will mark another landmark in our efforts to ensure food availability and security for all Nigerians.

“It will also examine the adequacy of National Agricultural Investment Plan 2 (NAIP 2) in meeting national objectives contained in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP),’’ .

Eloho said the outcome of the meeting would contribute in the 2019 budget proposals toward boosting agriculture in Nigeria.

“This platform will facilitate more inputs into the 2019 agriculture budget by creating ownership, linking and integrating programme that will help Nigeria achieve food security and the attainment of the ERGP,” .

He said the collaboration with Actionaid and Oxfam would support government’s priority programmes in the sector.

“Government’s objective in this regards is to ensure that we grow what we eat and to ensure that no Nigerian goes to bed hungry.

“It is also to ensure optimal nutritional status and increased value added agricultural export.

“The target is to make agriculture a commercial activity through science, technology and innovation,’’ .

Also speaking, Mr Vapkparaye Patrick, Assistant Director, Economic Growth in the ministry, said that Federal Government’s commitment in agriculture was evident in recent boost in rice farming across the country.

He advised that same commitment should be replicated in the development of other agricultural products.

“The recent boost in rice cultivation underscores government’s commitment to agriculture.

“Such commitment should also apply to other agricultural products.

“Government’s commitment is to produce what we eat; if China, with a population of more than one billion can achieve food sufficiency, then Nigeria can do much better than it is doing presently,’’.

 

Arinze A/NAN