The Permanent Secretary, or the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Abdulkadir Mua’zu has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to the development of the agricultural sector to promote food security and also to key into the Government’s plan to take 100m Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
He said that the Strategic Grain Reserves established across the country will promote food sustainability and stimulate economic growth.
He disclosed this during his inspection visit to the 25,000 metric tons Strategic Grains Reserve In Dustin-Ma, Kastina State.
The Permanent Secretary said “no government in the last 20 years has committed itself to the development of the agricultural sector like the President Muhammadu Buhari government”.
According to him, with the nation’s growing population presently at 200m will rise to about 400m by the next decade, therefore government must devise ways to provide enough food to feed its citizen, stating, “everyone need to eat to survive”.
Dr Mau’zu who expressed delight on the facilities and its operations, said he was at the complex to have a look at the silos and its conditions to ensure that it was well managed, maintained and secured.
He said government has invested so much into the strategic grains reserves nationwide because they will help to ensure food security, price stability and for strategic response as the need may arise.
He said “Agriculture is one of the key drivers of getting our people out of poverty” adding that “food is important but it is also very important to ensure it is safe and fit for human consumption.
The Permanent Secretary also emphasized that the Silos being an important national asset, said an effective monitoring system will be installed and security enhanced for optimal functioning of the facility.
He further stated that the Ministry is committed to knowing how to manage the grains.
Commenting on a request by the farmers association to be considered to supply grains to the reserves, the Permanent Secretary said if they organised themselves and can guaranty the quality of their seeds, they could also be considered.
While briefing the Permanent Secretary, Director, Strategic Grains Reserves Department in the Ministry, Engr, Sule Haruna said the 25,000 Metric tons Silo was functioning in its full capacity and currently has a total storage of 16,651 metric tons of Sorghum and Maize with the capacity to store more.
Engr Haruna also informed that the 10 no Silo facility at the Reserve is automated and equipped with measures including a weigh bridge to ensure transparency and accountability of supplies. Each Silo is said to have the capacity of a 2, 500 metric tons equivalent to 83 trailer load of grains.
Representative of the Kastina State Chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria( AFAN), Sani Danjari commended the Federal Government’s effort in the grains reserves programme and appealed to the government to consider including the farmers in the supply chain of the grains instead of giving them solely to contractors.
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