Food security remains at the forefront of my government’s agenda – Buhari


Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has again reiterated that the quest for food security still remains at the forefront of the present administration’s agenda.

Buhari who made this remark on Thursday at the National Food Security Council meeting held at the Council Chambers in Abuja however stated that although the journey comes with its pains and challenges, Nigerians must not give up.

He observed that events of the last six months had further demonstrated the vulnerabilities of food systems around the world to global shocks adding that this underscored the need for more effort.

According to the President, the Coronavirus pandemic had illustrated more than any event in recent history how countries must strive harder to protect food systems noting that it had also exposed the limits of dependency on other countries.

“In the last 5 years we have recorded notable achievements. Despite the decline in GDP by 6.1% in Q2 of 2020 as a direct result of coronavirus, the agricultural sector continued to grow because of Government’s targeted agricultural policies.

“We have been blessed by God with six successive rainy seasons ensuring good harvests since 2015. The nation thanks our farmers for rising to the occasion and answering a national call.

“I am pleased to note that most Nigerians are taking advantage of the opportunities in the agriculture and agri-business sector. I want to assure you that this Government will continue to support these initiatives and many more to come”, he said.

He therefore mandated that while the nation’s key actors in the Agric space were championing increased hectares under cultivation, Nigerians needed to pivot their attention and resources to how they can improve yield per hectare.

“This new shift will be a significant boost in our determination to strengthen our objective in achieving food security.

“To protect agricultural investments and boost confidence to our farmers we have deployed thousands of Agro-Rangers and integrated rural communities to the formal economy by extending access to credit and inputs to rural farmers and building feeder roads.

“We have invested in building our strategic grain reserves in recent years while we recently released significant quantities to cushion the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to vulnerable households and industries.

“Unfortunately, the recent floods have adversely impacted our preparations. Lives were lost and livelihoods were wiped away. My condolences and sympathies go to the victims and their families.

“As a Government, we will do all it takes to support those impacted by this disaster. Already, we are working to ensure the losses from this wet season are replaced in the coming dry planting season.

“Listening to all the presentations today, I am pleased with the success recorded. I have taken note of the challenges you mentioned and look forward to receiving your formal written submissions in the coming days.

Photo: Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari.

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