Farmers Cultivate 323,000 Hectares in Effort to Address Soaring Food Prices

FG Mulls Plan To Create 5m Jobs After Empowering Farmers

Farmers and agricultural dealers are anticipating a decline in food prices in the coming months as the Federal Government, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, has initiated the cultivation of approximately 323,000 hectares of farmland for the 2024 dry season farming season.

According to a report from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, four major crops—wheat, rice, maize, and cassava—are currently being cultivated across the country in significant proportions, starting with wheat.

The report outlines the targeted hectares allocated for cultivation under the 2023/2024 dry season farming season for various crop value chains: wheat (123,000 hectares), rice (150,000 hectares), maize (30,000 hectares), and cassava (20,000 hectares).

Wheat production has already commenced in 15 wheat-producing states, including Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Katsina, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.

Kabir Ibrahim, President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, highlighted that the government’s efforts to expand cultivable land are crucial for increasing food production. He emphasized that despite existing challenges, such as land availability and technology limitations, expanding the cultivable land is a significant step towards boosting food security.

President Bola Tinubu had previously declared a state of emergency on food security in July 2023 and reiterated his commitment to enhancing food security during his New Year address to the nation in January 2024.

Kabir expressed optimism about the impact of increased farmland cultivation on food prices, stating that greater availability of food in the market would likely result in a drop in prices due to increased supply meeting demand.

However, he also raised concerns about the devaluation of the naira and emphasized the importance of investing in other sectors of the economy to shore up the currency’s purchasing power and ensure sustainable economic growth.

Overall, the government’s initiative to expand cultivable land is seen as a positive step towards enhancing food production and addressing food security challenges in Nigeria.

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