By Ene Okwanihe
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria says the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) would address all the problems associated with livestock production activities, and guarantee adequate supply of quality meat for domestic consumption and export for foreign exchange earnings.
The Minister in charge of the sector Dr.
Mohammed Abubakar stated this while reeling out some of the achievements of the Ministry in attaining food security in the country at a Media Briefing to mark the 2021World Food Day.
Abubakar said The achievements of the sector are not without challenges as the insecurity situation in Northern Nigeria has greatly affected food production in the last 4 years.
“The insecurity bedeviling many farming communities in the North has greatly affected food production in the last 3-4 years, and the farmer/herder clashes, banditry, cattle rustling all posed serious setback in our food systems”
“It is our hope that the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) would address the entire problems associate with our livestock production activities and guarantee adequate supply of quality meat for domestic consumption and export for foreign exchange earnings”
On fertilizer production and availability to farmers, Dr.
Abubakar said to boost production; the Ministry partnered the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative to ensure adequate domestic production and marketing of NPK fertilizers at affordable commercial rate and timely delivery to farmers.
He said “This has aided resuscitation of 41Nos blending plants, quality control, created about 250,000 jobs, saved foreign exchange and support food security in the country”
“It has also increased annual production of cash crops.
In addition, the National Fertilizer Quality Control Act 2019 to provide regulatory framework aimed at guaranteeing the supply and distribution of quality fertilizers and other farm inputs to farmers for food security has been launched”
The minister stated that through the National Accelerated Fish Production Programme a total of 783,102MT of Fish was cultivated via the exploration of marine resources in Deep Sea/Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) while also noting that about 393.
45km of Asphalt and 271.
8km Earth road were constructed in rural areas along farm settlement routes thereby reducing the cost of transportation of agricultural commodities by 49% to demand and storage outlets.
In the area of capacity building, the minister said a total of 2,205,576 farmers; youths and women were trained and empowered on different agricultural value chains.
According to Abubakar the passage of Agricultural Trust Fund Bill, which has passed 1st and 2nd reading in the National Assembly and the ongoing recapitalization of the Bank of Agriculture would provide the needed support for agricultural activities in the country.
The Minister further appreciated the support of stakeholders particularly the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO), NAFN, Action Aid and other NGOs in making the 2021 World Food Day a huge success.
WFD: Livestock plan to address insecurity bedeviling agriculture in Nigeria