The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, has set an ambitious target to produce approximately 31 million metric tonnes of grains in 2024. This initiative aims to counter food inflation nationwide and address President Tinubu’s declared food security emergency.
President Tinubu had announced a food security emergency in July, transferring food security matters to the National Security Council. Since the declaration, Nigeria’s food inflation has consistently risen, reaching 31.5% in October.
Speaking at the 6th edition of the Seed Connect Conference and Exhibition, themed “Global Declaration of Food Emergency – The Role of the Seed Industry and Ensuring Africa’s Food and Nutrition Security,” the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Dr. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, outlined the government’s plan. He disclosed that the targeted crops for 2024 include Rice, Maize, Wheat, Soyabeans, and Sorghum, with over 300 thousand worth of seeds already provided to farmers.
Sen. Aliyu highlighted critical pathways to achieve the ambitious production target, including the certification of planting materials and other short- and medium-term strategies. He emphasized the need for immediate action, such as the certification of available planting material for specific food security crops in the upcoming dry season farming of 2023/2024.
Regarding financial support, Sen. Aliyu mentioned plans to cultivate over 70,000 hectares of wheat with assistance from the African Development Bank (AfDB), part of the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro Pocket Scheme (NAGS-AP) project. He added that the National Agricultural Development Fund, in collaboration with the Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation, would provide short-term financing support to farmers.
In conclusion, the government’s proactive measures and collaboration with financial institutions aim to boost agricultural productivity, enhance food security, and mitigate the impact of rising food inflation in the country.