In line with the directive of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, at the declaration of food security emergency, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has synergized with the Ministry of Water Resources and other development partners to ensure adequate irrigation of farmlands to guarantee food production all year round.
Speaking at the Ministerial Press Briefing to commemorate World Food Day, in Abuja, recently, the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, CON, noted that 2023 World Food Day with the theme, “Water is life, water is food, leave no one behind” was targeted at creating awareness to carry all Nigerians along.
The Minister revealed that it was a clear roadmap that had been drawn by both ministries to optimally harness all water resources available, including River Basins and Dams (around irrigatable land) and other wetlands for multiple cropping cycle.
According to him, “This renewed synergy between the two Ministries has started yielding results as assessment and operational appraisal visits to the River Basin Development Authorities has begun in earnest and would be deployed for the 2023/2024 dry season farming of the Federal Government in conjunction with States and Local Government.”
Sen. Kyari stressed that it would begin with priority crops which includes; Wheat, Rice, Maize, and Cassava with aggressive sustainable plan for up-scaling and replicating same for other crops, livestock and fisheries across the Federation.
Speaking further, the Minister noted that it was empirically unequivocal that the planet’s water resources are declining due to climate change, urbanization and rapid population growth, such as increasing threat to regular water supply which has adversely affected not only food production but also agricultural livelihoods, with developing countries in particular, bearing a disproportionate burden.
The Minister emphasized that the colossal ramifications of climate change which include incidences of droughts, rainfall variability and desertification pose greater challenge by putting the planet’s water resources under increasing stress in most regions of the world.
He, therefore called on all stakeholders who desired to genuinely support the sector to take sustainable measures towards addressing issues impacting the attainment of national food and nutrition security.
In his remarks, the representative of Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Head of Office Northeast, Alhassan Cisse stressed on the indispensability of fresh water and the need to safeguard it. He noted that water governance and regulation was essential as well as integrated water management.
In his goodwill message, the representative of Action Aid Nigeria; Andrew Mamedu reiterated that food was essential for life sustenance, noting that Action Aid was working round the clock to ensure that over 130 million Nigerians living in multi-dimensional poverty had access to food and potable water.
Earlier, The Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, urged Nigerians to get more involved in farming to achieve massive food production to attain food security in the country. He stated this in a walk and sensitization activity that was organized by the Ministry in collaboration with development partners to mark World food day, at Unity Fountain Abuja.
Highlight of the event, in commemoration of World Food Day, was the visitation to Sustainable Agrotech Nigeria Ltd. Gwagalada, Kilankwa Multipurpose Farm, Kwali, Resource Farm Nig. Ltd in collaboration with Peak Milk Collection Centre and Pasture Farm, Aco, FCT.
Umar Rashida Sanusi
Principal Information Officer
For: Director Information