Tuesday, April 16, 2024

FG set to release 42,000 metric tonnes of food items to vulnerable Nigerians: Presidency

The presidential aide said that after the bagging, the distribution would commence immediately.

• February 23, 2024
Bayo Onanuga
Bayo Onanuga

The federal ministry of agriculture and food security is in the final stages of releasing 42,000 metric tonnes of assorted food items to support vulnerable populations across the country.

Bayo Onanuga, special adviser to the President on information and strategy, disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

He said the grains were bagged in seven locations for onward distribution to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The presidential aide said that after the bagging, the distribution would commence immediately.

Mr Onanuga said that the first batch would be complemented by the 60,000 metric tonnes to be purchased by the federal government from the mega rice millers.

“The Federal Government is also ramping up food production by boosting Dry Season Farming under the National Agricultural Growth Scheme Agro-Pocket (NAGS-AP) Project.

“The First Phase of the Dry Season Farming was launched in November 2023. It focuses on the cultivation of wheat across 15 wheat-producing states, covering 118,657 hectares and involving 107,429 farmers.

“The fields are green now, and harvest will commence in a matter of weeks. There are fantastic reports of the growth of wheat from Jigawa State, which is now targeting harvest from about 50,000 hectares, 10,000 hectares more than initially allotted under the programme.”

He said that phase two of the dry season farming for rice, maize and cassava would commence soon across all 36 states and the FCT.

“For rice, the target is 250,000 hectares involving 500,000 farmers with the expected output of one million metric tons of paddy rice.

“For maize, we are cultivating 55,000 hectares with 110,000 farmers, thereby adding 165,000 metric tons to national maize production.

”For cassava, we are doing 35,000 hectares with 70,000 farmers to produce 525,000 metric tons of cassava.

“The NAGS-AP Project offers a 50 per cent subsidy.

”However, the federal government is providing additional support for phase two, which will bring aggregate subsidy to about 93 per cent to farmers cultivating the crops.”

Mr Onanuga said that state governors are also showing strong support to further enhance the subsidy.

He added that solar-powered water pumps for irrigation are being deployed to aid the upcoming phase of the programme.


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