President Bola Tinubu says his administration will create agricultural hubs across States in Nigeria to boost food production.
The president disclosed this while delivering his inaugural speech on Monday in Abuja.
“Agricultural hubs will be created throughout the nation to increase production and engage in value-added processing,” Mr Tinubu said.
He emphasised that the livestock sector will be introduced to best modern practices and steps taken to minimise the perennial conflict over land and water resources in this sector.
The president said rural incomes should be secured by commodity exchange boards guaranteeing minimal prices for certain crops and animal products.
“A nationwide programme for storage and other facilities to reduce spoilage and waste will be undertaken,” Mr Tinubu said.
Through these actions, the president said, food shall be made more abundant yet less costly and that farmers shall earn more while the average Nigerian pays less.
Despite repeated promises to develop the agricultural sector in the last eight years under former president Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria has failed to ensure food sustainability.
Through the Anchor Borrowers Programme initiative implemented under Mr Buhari, the country’s rice and maize production experienced a major boost in eight years.
But that hasn’t translated to food sufficiency as prices of food items have been on a steady rise amid rising inflation.
This has largely affected the purchasing power of many citizens whose incomes remain poor in the face of the high cost of food, making it difficult for millions of citizens to feed themselves comfortably.
Agricultural experts say that Mr Tinubu’s plan to boost agricultural infrastructure would boost the country’s food security significantly.
“The priority on Agriculture and FoodSecurity mentioned by the new President of Nigeria Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his inauguration speech is good news for local farmers,” says David Michael, the executive director of Global Initiative For Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP), a non-governmental organisation.
On his part, Azeez Salawu, founder and executive director at Community Action for Food Security (CAFS) Initiative, said the successful implementation of Mr Tinubu’s plans outlined would depend on various factors, such as sufficient funding, effective policy implementation, and the collaboration of all stakeholders across the agricultural value chain.
“Also, monitoring progress and adapting strategies based on feedback and challenges will be crucial in achieving the desired outcomes in the agricultural sector in Nigeria,” he said.
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