Sokoto, Niger govs seek FG’s support to boost food production

Sokoto, Niger govs seek FG’s support to boost food production

The governors of Sokoto State, Ahmad Aliyu, and Niger State, Mohammed Umar Bago, have visited the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security headquarters in Abuja, seeking the support of the Federal Government to enhance food production in their respective states.

During their separate visits, the governors outlined their plans to improve food production in the face of challenges affecting farming activities.

Aliyu pointed out insecurity as a major concern affecting farming activities in the state, stating that insecurity, particularly banditry in some parts of the state, has led to farmers abandoning their farmlands, resulting in a shortage of food production.

He emphasized the need to strategize on identifying genuine farmers and address issues related to “political farmers” who sabotage government efforts to boost food production.

“To address the situation whereby you spend billions of naira just to subsidize agriculture and somebody uses the opportunity to enrich himself, the Sokoto State government will establish a committee under the Ministry of Agriculture to collaborate with the Ministry of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy to identify genuine farmers,” he said.

Bago, on the other hand, assured Nigerians and potential investors that the state is poised to lead in rice production.

He disclosed that 150,000 hectares of land had been donated to the Federal Government for dry season farming, emphasizing the state’s commitment to utilizing technology and mechanization for optimal land use.

“Niger State is already the headquarters of rice paddling in Nigeria. However, the production of rice in Niger State has not been optimized.

“With technology and mechanization that we have brought in, we are confident that the one million hectares of land for the year 2024 would be used judiciously,” Governor Bago stated.

The governors’ visits were met with positive remarks from the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, who expressed optimism for future possibilities and stressed the need for collaboration between states and the Federal Government to ensure food security and agricultural development in Nigeria.

The minister also stated the importance of transparent distribution of agro-inputs and targeting genuine farmers in upcoming farming seasons.

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