Two men sentenced to two years in prison each for fraud and counterfeiting
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said it has distributed seeds, growth promoters, seedlings, sprayers and equipment to support smallholder farmers in Plateau State.
Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Dr Mohammed Abubakar, who distributed the agricultural inputs in Jos yesterday, said it would boost local food production.
According to Abubakar, boosting food production would help achieve self-sufficiency, attract investment, create jobs and improve the livelihoods of farming families.
He said the agricultural sector had become a priority for the current administration and one of the main contributors to the economy, at more than 25% of gross domestic product.
“Smallholder farmers account for about 70% of national food production.
“This requires the implementation of strategic policies such as the Agriculture Plan for Food and Employment.
“In addition, the green imperative, the agricultural promotion policy and the presidential initiative on fertilizers have been achieved,” he said.
The Minister said that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the sector which has caused many disruptions along agricultural value chains, leading to disruptions in global trade and leading to heavy economic losses for livelihoods. livelihood of farmers.
He said the ministry had carefully assessed the negative impacts of COVID-19 and designed a support program targeting smallholder farmers to enable them to return to farms and continue production.
According to him, it is about improving the incomes of farming families, creating jobs and generating wealth.
He noted that 35% of the inputs would go to women’s cooperative groups, 15% to people with special needs, while 50% would go to farmer associations in various production hubs.
Abubakar hailed the resilience of farmers and also called on development partners at national and sub-national levels to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure food sufficiency.
Speaking, Governor Simon Lalong said that at the end of 2021, the state witnessed two agricultural activities.
Lalong said the activities were Farmers Field Day and the inauguration of the 2021/2022 dry season wheat harvest as well as the first ever international potato value chain conference.
He said the deployment came at the right time as farmers prepared for rainy season farming and continued with dry season farming.
“Lately, especially in the era of COVID-19, our farmers have shown more resilience in the agricultural sector, where the demand for their services and products is huge,” he said.
The governor said that amidst the many challenges faced by farmers such as shortage of agricultural inputs, seedlings and necessary extension services, there are security issues such as kidnappings, banditry, conflicts between herders and climate change.