By James Emejo in Abuja
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh yesterday said that his ministry is mapping out key constraints in the agricultural value chain- from production to consumption-in order to unlock the full economic potentials in the sector.
He however, said that effective collaboration was required among government, the private sector and development partners to achieve the global target of “zerohunger” by 2030. He said that this is crucial especially at a period when the impact of climate change had proved devastating on food production and food security world-wide, adding that concerted efforts are needed to fight hunger, extreme poverty and malnutrition.
Speaking at the 2018 World Food Day Walk Sensitisation programme, themed:”Our Actions are our Future- A ZeroHunger by the year 2030 is Possible”, he noted that the policy regime of the current administration was built around a number of guiding principles including treating agriculture as business; adoption of agriculture as key to long term economic growth and security; food as human rights, adoption of value chain approach and prioritising crops among others.
The minister disclosed that some of his ministry’s policy interventions have started yielding fruits, particularly in the area of rice production. “It is now evident that we are on the path to becoming self-sufficient in rice production. Indeed, I have no doubt in my mind that Nigeria can be a model for Africa and the world if we join forces and act on evidence.”
Represented by the ministry’s Director, Planning, Policy Coordination and Monitoring Department, Mr. Nasiru Adamu, the minister added that no country can attain food security by depending on food importation.
According to him, agricultural productivity is currently boosted through time provision of fertiliser and other inputs. “We are also working on the reduction of post-harvest losses and expansion of market access. The policy thrust is now focusing on deepening financial sector engagement with the agribusiness value chains,”he said.