Amidst efforts to take rising food inflation and poverty in the country, the federal government said it is targeting the production of 31 million metric tonnes (MT) of grains in 2024.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Dr Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, explained that Nigeria’s seed requirement for five major crops – rice, maize, wheat, soybeans and sorghum – next year is 312,555.69MT, which is expected to give almost 31 million MT of grains.
The minister stated this at the 6th edition of Seed Connect Conference and Exhibition themed, ‘Global Declaration of Food Emergency – The Role of the Seed Industry and Ensuring Africa’s Food and Nutrition Security’.
“The ministry has outlined a series of critical pathways to solve the food security challenges, which are streamlined into short-term, intermediate and long-term actions,” he said.
He mentioned that the immediate priority of the ministry is the certification of available planting materials for dry season farming recently flagged off in Jigawa state.
He said the target was to cultivate 70,000 hectares of wheat production under a facility supported by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and National Agricultural Growth Scheme and AgroPocket Scheme (NAGS-AP), adding that the farmers are being supported with quality seeds for rice, maize and soybean alongside other inputs at a subsidized rate. He further revealed that as part of the short-term intervention, the current administration is targeting the creation of a gene bank for pasture seed development, fodder and foliage estates that would gradually eliminate farmers’ and herders’ clashes.