Dry season farming to create 10m jobs – FG

Bisola David
Bisola David
Dry season farming to create 10m jobs - FG

The Federal Government stated 5–10 million jobs would be created nationwide by farming during the 2024 dry season.

According to The PUNCH, When the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation hosted the 30th regular meeting of the National Council on Water Resources and Sanitation in Abuja, it revealed this information.

It was revealed last week that farmers and agro-dealers were hopeful that food prices will decline in the upcoming months as a result of the Federal government’s support for the cultivation of over 323,000 hectares of farmlands nationwide.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security’s National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro-Pocket Project, which launched in January 2024, revealed that the four main crops now being grown in significant quantities which include wheat, rice, maize, and cassava, with wheat being the most widely grown.

The document, which was obtained from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, stated that 123,000 hectares of wheat, 150,000 hectares of rice, 30,000 hectares of maize, and 20,000 hectares of cassava were the targeted hectares being put into cultivation under the 2023–2024 dry season farming for the various crop value chains.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitization, Shehu Aliyu, made remarks about this year’s dry season farming during his speech on Monday at the National Council on Water Resources. He said that certain program had been introduced to ensure the successful implementation of the 2024 dry season farming and the creation of millions of jobs.

He declared, “I wish to inform you that the ministry has introduced the following three flagship programmes: Water for Expanded Irrigated Agriculture Program; Partnership for Expanded Irrigation Program; and River Basin Strategy for Poverty Alleviation. This is in resolve to align with the state of emergency on food security declaration and the Renewed Hope Agenda of the current administration.”

The Federal Government, along with Jigawa State, launched the National Wheat Development Program in November 2023, marking the beginning of the implementation of the aforementioned program. The program covers a total of 120,000 hectares of land in Jigawa State.

In light of the aforementioned, a few River Basin Development Authorities, or RBDAs, have already started dry season farming inside the catchment areas by taking advantage of the current intervention.

The remaining RBDAs who haven’t done so yet are urged to do so, according to Aliyu.

He declared, “The goal of the various interventions is to create five to ten million jobs within the agricultural value chain for our teeming youths.”

The permanent secretary went on to say that “all matters pertaining to food and water availability and affordability as essential livelihood items be included within the purview of the National Security Council is one of the main provisions of the declaration of a state of emergency on food security with regard to the water and sanitation sector”.

He noted that in order to maintain sufficient irrigation of farms and year-round food production, there was an urgent need for coordination between the Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Food Security and Water Resources and Sanitation.

The ministry must “engage our security architecture to protect the farms and the farmers such that farmers can return to the farmlands without fear of being attacked,” he said..

In order to address the seasonal shortage, he continued, “the 12 River Basin Development Authorities should ensure the planting of crops during the dry season with irrigation schemes that will guarantee continuous farming production all year.”

Additionally, last week, the governors of Taraba, Agbu Kefas, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Ondo, Ahmed Ododo and Kwara, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, stormed the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security’s Abuja headquarters to demand increased agricultural production in order to guarantee food security in Nigeria.

At the meeting, Abdulrazaq—who also serves as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum—told , the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari that food security needed to receive enough attention.

He emphasized, nevertheless, that the nation’s food was still the least expensive in all of West Africa.

Remember Niger State ladies and youths protested in the streets of Minna against what they described as the country’s difficult living conditions, rising food prices, and stinging hardships

However, Abdulrazaq noted that the Anchor Borrowers Program, which was formerly run by the Central Bank of Nigeria under its previous leader, Godwin Emefiele, did not accomplish much when addressing on behalf of the governors at the meeting at the agric ministry.

He urged the minister of agriculture to put up great effort in order to meet the government’s food targets, saying that state governors will collaborate with the ministry on behalf of the Nigerian people.

“With the CBN Anchor Borrowers scheme, we did not accomplish anything; it was quite difficult. Food security is a one-stop shop, so we should focus on our current efforts. Our focus must be on our efforts to support dry-season farming.

“We wish to participate in the minister’s project on cassava, rice, and maize and ensure that we increase our yield and provide for the needs of the Nigerian people.

“We hope to reach a point where we export food. Nigerian food is currently being shipped to West Africa and is the cheapest in the region due to the depreciation of the naira, the governor of Kwara State stated.”

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