Friday, September 17, 2021

Buhari’s policies promoting self-sufficiency in food production – APC group

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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A group of All Progressives Congress known as APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign, APC-LAC, said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was moving Nigeria steadily towards self-sufficiency in food production.

The group stated this in a statement signed Wednesday in Abuja by the APC national youth leader, Ismaeel Ahmed; former APC national publicity secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu; director-general of the Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, Salihu Lukman.

According to the group, the administration’s efforts at positioning agriculture as the fulcrum of the country’s economic development is commendable, saying that such development had never been witnessed in the country since independence.

The group, therefore, challenged the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to present its scorecards for sixteen (16) years between 1999 and 2015.

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“Since 2015 when this administration took over, it has put no one in doubt of its determination to transform the agricultural sector as a major pillar of the country’s economy and a bold statement on its determined efforts at diversification.

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“The President’s agricultural revolution is underscored by several critical policies for the enhancement of growth and development. Such policies include the inauguration of the National Food Security Council (NFSC), Agriculture for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP), National Livestock Transformation Plan, the Anchors Borrowers Programme, and National Fertilizer Initiative (NFI). The details of these laudable programmes as provided below clearly show that Nigeria’s journey towards prosperity is already afoot.

“National Food Security Council (NFSC): This Council, chaired by President Buhari, was inaugurated on March 26, 2018, to oversee the development andj implementation of sustainable solutions to various issues impacting agricultural production in Nigeria, including farmers–herdsmen clashes, to climate change and desertification, oil spillage and its impact on fishing communities; piracy and banditry; smuggling, and others.

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“Expand existing production in the agricultural sector (yield per hectare); Reduce post-harvest losses through access to storage and energy; Stimulate the establishment of new farms in partnership with State Governments, private sector and individual citizens; and Ensure guaranteed market for agricultural produce through a combination of private sector off-takers, commodity exchanges, a government buy-back scheme, and strategic reserve purchases.

“The AFJP has so far registered and mapped about 6 million small-holder farmers to their farmlands across the country, using GIS coordinates, and has also commenced the analysis of tens of thousands of soil samples from farms, to guide local fertilizer blending,” the group said.

While listing other initiatives which include National Livestock Transformation Plan, the Anchor Borrowers Programme, ABP, the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, PFI, among others, the group stressed that in 2017 Olam Group had invested $150million in an integrated animal feed mill, poultry breeding farms and hatchery in Kaduna state, as well as an integrated poultry and fish feed mill in Kwara State.

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The group said: “Other landmark Buhari Agriculture initiatives are also in the works, with the support of foreign governments and development partners. They include the Special-Agro Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) Programme, which will establish agro-processing centres across all the 6 geo-political zones of the country; and the Green Imperative – a partnership between the Governments of Nigeria and Brazil to mechanize and modernize agricultural production in Nigeria, through the development of 632 privately-operated Mechanisation Service Centers and 142 Agro-processing Service Centres, the reactivation of 6 privately owned tractor assembly plants nationwide, and training of 100,000 new extension workers.”

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