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Minister: Nigeria Relying on Eight States for Key Food Security Agenda

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The Nigerian government, in a strategic move to bolster the nation’s food security, is placing its bet on eight frontline states, including Kastina, Borno, Niger, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Zamfara, and Sokoto. This announcement was made by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, who emphasized the critical role these states will play in fulfilling the country’s food security agenda.

While addressing the issue, Minister Kyari called upon state governments and local authorities to compile and submit verified lists of genuine farmers. This request comes as the government gears up for the second phase of its dry season farming initiative, focusing on key crops such as wheat, rice, maize, and cassava.

The minister’s confidence in the ministry’s ability to surpass the 400,000-hectare cultivation target set by President Bola Tinubu for food production is contingent upon the cooperation of state and local government bodies. “We are out to achieve the President’s agenda on food security, poverty reduction, and job creation. And we can exceed the president’s target if we receive genuine and verifiable lists of farmers from the local government,” said Kyari.

Emphasizing the importance of collaboration, Kyari highlighted the need for buy-in from both the state and local governments to achieve their ambitious goals. Additionally, plans are underway to establish a joint task force comprising state and federal government representatives to ensure the success of the farming programme.

Governor Malam Dikko Umaru Radda of Kastina State, during his visit to the minister, expressed the state’s eagerness to participate in this national initiative. He assured that Kastina State, renowned for being a leading producer of maize, high-quality cotton, sesame, soya beans, and millet, is ready to contribute significantly to the country’s food security efforts.

In line with these efforts, Governor Radda outlined various initiatives being implemented in Kastina State to boost agricultural production and improve the economic conditions of farmers. Notably, the state has launched an irrigation scheme supporting 2,000 farmers with solar pump machines and other incentives to facilitate all-year-round farming.

These concerted efforts by the federal government, in collaboration with key states, are part of a broader strategy to ensure Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in food production. The focus on agriculture is not only aimed at achieving food security but also at reducing poverty and creating job opportunities across the country.

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