Insecurity has not affected food production in Nigeria – Agriculture Minister

By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau

In spite of the festering security challenges in Nigeria which have prevented farmers from undertaking their trade, food production has not significantly dropped across the country.

Also, the Agriculture Sector, is said to have been contributing an aggregate of 25 percent to the Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and looks towards an upscale of 26-27 percent in 2022.

The Minister of Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar who said these on Thursday while speaking at the weekly Ministerial Briefing at the State House, Abuja, believes that the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari has made giant strides in the Agricultural Sector.

Abubakar who acknowledged that the spate of insecurity in the country is inhibiting farmers from accessing their farms, particularly in the North-West, North-East, and North-Central, said the situation is a great concern for the federal government.

The Minister, however, maintained that food production continues at an appreciable level for most parts of the country.

Abubakar further revealed that 3.6 million direct and indirect jobs have been created through $1.1 billion in externally-funded agriculture projects and are being implemented by the present administration.

According to him, $538 million dollars was approved by the African Development Bank (AfDB) for special agricultural processing zones to support inclusive and and sustainable agricultural development in Nigeria.

Abubakar said the participating states are Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau and Sokoto.

The Minister also debunked recent reports that Nigeria is not on track to end food hunger by year 2025 just as he cited Nigeria’s food production sufficiency (which has placed the country as number one in Africa and 4th in the world in rice production as evidence that President Buhari is living up to his promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade.

“So far, the agriculture sector, he said, contributes an aggregate of 25 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and looks towards an upscale of 26-27 percent in 2022”, Abubakar concluded.

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