Nigeria’s new minister of agriculture and rural development, Mohammed Abubakar, has assured the provision of necessary policy direction to position agriculture as the mainstay of the nation’s economy. In this regard, he said livestock transformation plan will be a priority not only to ensure food security but also to check insecurity in the country.
Abubakar stated this in Abuja on Thursday, 9th of September 2021, during a handover ceremony held at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. President Muhammadu Buhari had on September 1 relieved the former minister of agriculture, Sabo Nanono of his appointment, and named Abubakar who was overseeing affairs in the ministry of environment, as a replacement.
Abubakar said under his leadership, “research and extension services will be strengthened to ensure that best practices are translated into concrete deliverables in the agric and livestock value chain. We will strive to promote synergy within the agencies and departments of the ministry. Our agencies must collaborate and work with relevant stakeholders in achieving our mandate” he added.
While stating the need to make Nigeria food sufficient, the minister called for the patronage of local agro products to encourage domestic farmers. “The job of keeping our environment safe and sound is the job of everybody. This can be applicable to agriculture. We must support our farmers so they can continue to produce. During the closure of border we had sufficient rice and this shows the possibility of our food sufficiency
Food security is everything we have, everything it takes to make Nigeria the number one producer and exporter of food not just in Africa but beyond,” he added. In his remarks, Sabi Nanono, the former minister, urged the new minister to focus on improving fertilizer, stop the importation of rice, fish, wheat and several other plants across the country, and scale up employment in the sector.