President Muhammadu Buhari says the Anchor Borrowers Programme on rice production has guaranteed Nigeria’s food security.
The president made the disclosure at the 11th Agricultural Show and Exhibition to commemorate the 2019 World Food Day with the theme:Our Actions are our Future. Healthy Diets for A #ZeroHunger.”
He said the programme had created jobs for millions of Nigerians, particularly the youths and women, while reducing poverty, importation and saving foreign exchange.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, further said that efforts had been made to ensure supply of farm inputs to farmers to boost productivity.
“I assure you that this administration will continue to make interventions to better the lives of farmers in the country.
“This administration intends to ensure food sufficiency, enterprises promotion, productive empowerment and wealth creation.
“We will continue to address the challenges of our growing population and declining revenue by promoting agribusiness, aiding economic livelihood and attaining food security in the country.
“Mechanised agricultural programme is been promoted to operate machinery hiring enterprises scheme under private operators to facilitate the manufacturing of durable farm equipment that can withstand the various geographical terrain and climate of the country,” he said.
On the World Food Day celebration, Buhari said concerted effort was required to ensure healthy food system, food security and nutrition.
“World Food Day is an annual event celebrated by all member nations of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to raise public awareness on the nature and dimension of global food challenges, malnutrition and poverty.
“Nigeria through the Ministry of Agriculture is annually celebrating the event and currently the agriculture exhibition in collaboration with FAO, the National Agricultural Foundation and other stakeholders.
“It is important to remind you that this year’s World Food Day celebration entered it’s 75th year.
“I congratulate FAO for sustaining the course. The theme of this year’s world food day celebration is apt now that our diet and eating habit are drastically changing as a result of globalisation, urbanisation and income growth,” he said.
He said concerted effort was required to ensure healthy food system, food security and nutrition.
“It is also a wake up call for policy makers across the sub sectors of the economy to ensure food security and sustainability through healthy and sustainable diet.
“Permit me to recall that agriculture is basic avenue for the provision of food, raw materials employment and income. Agriculture is for all categories of people and is been deployment as an instrument for poverty reduction,” he said.
The president noted that to further achieve desired result in terms of food sufficiency and food security, there was need to restore the link between the agricultural and industrial sector.
He further commended Nigerian farmers for their effort in sustaining the economy, adding that they were vital to the development, stability and unity of the country.
Buhari pointed out that lots had been achieved by the present administration to generate employment, reduce poverty and ensure food security.
“It will interest you know that there is concerted effort to implement the current agricultural promotion policy and economic recovery and growth plan, the action plan embarked upon to achieve food security and successfully reduce import dependence and stimulate agro export.
“The plan is to strengthen extension services, promote value addition while ensuring land deployment and soil fertilization management.
“It is to provide support for the sector, maintain youth and gender productivity and facilitate credit to agricultural sector.
“This administration has also put in place certain interventions to address food security,” he said.
The president urged all stakeholders to partner with the federal government in its effort to develop the economy, particularly through agriculture.