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HomeAfricaAgric interventions generated nearly 60k jobs in one year, says Abubakar Kyari...

Agric interventions generated nearly 60k jobs in one year, says Abubakar Kyari | New Mail Nigeria

Abubakar Kyari, minister of agriculture and food security, says interventions in the sector have yielded nearly 60,000 jobs in one year.

Kyari spoke on Monday while providing updates on President Bola Tinubu’s achievements in the agricultural sector. 

FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY

Kyari said the ministry launched dry season farming with the cultivation of 118,657 hectares of wheat in 15 states, in a bid to accelerate year-round farming.

He said the ministry supported 107,429 wheat farmers with inputs, resulting in an output of 474,628 metric tonnes.

According to him, an “estimated value of N309 billion” has been injected into the economy from the food security sector.

He said that in response to the presidential directive, the ministry released 42,000 metric tons of assorted food commodities from the federal government’s strategic food reserve to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). 

“Procured and distributed to all states and FCT 58,500 metric tonnes of milled rice, to dampen escalating prices. Fortification of crops with Vitamin A micro-nutrient to enrich nutrition content and health value of food commodities,” the minister said.

Kyari said that in response to persistent food inflation, measures were undertaken to boost production.

He said this included the distribution of 60,432 mt of improved seeds, 887,255 mt of seedlings, 138 value kits, 501,726 litres of agrochemicals, 62,328.5 mt of inorganic fertilisers, 1,000 kg of fungicide, and 33,200 mt of equipment to farmers across different value chains to enhance production.

“We received 2.15 million bags of fertilizer from the Central Bank of Nigeria for free distribution to farmers. Improve farmland security with the provision of additional resources to Agro Rangers and other security agencies,” the minister said.

The minister said among several achievements in livestock production and animal health, the federal government procured and distributed 14,056,467 doses of anthrax spore, foot and mouth disease vaccines for risk-based vaccination exercises in 22 high-risk states located in the north-central, north-west, north-east, south-west, and south-south geopolitical zones.

MECHANISATION

Kyari said to boost mechanisation, the federal government signed a memorandum of understanding with John Deere and Tata Africa to assemble in-country and supply 10,000 tractors with implements and accessories at 2,000 units a year, as well as 100 units of combined harvesters.

“Partnership with Brazilian government with the sum €995,000 to provide mechanisation hubs across the federation. Facilitation of supply of 2,000 Belarus tractors,” he said.

TRAINING OF FARMERS

Kyari said 23 improved crop varieties have been developed and 3,350 extension agents in state agricultural development projects across the country have been trained.

According to him, 20,755 farmers, including youth and women, were trained and empowered on agri-business and poverty reduction across the country.

He said in rural infrastructure, the ministry constructed different kilometres of roads and also provided 102 motorised and solar-powered boreholes, as well as installed 6,504 solar street lights.

The minister said the interventions have “generated nearly 60,000 jobs in various rural economies”.

CLIMATE CHANGE MANAGEMENT

Kyari said that to mitigate climate change, the agriculture ministry constructed and rehabilitated water harvesting structures and small earth dams across states of the federation.

He said the ministry also trained farmers on soil and water conservation systems for sustainable agricultural production, provided advisory services on climate-smart agriculture in collaboration with NIMET and other relevant agencies.

“Implemented youth employment in agriculture and women & youth in agribusiness programmes, with the use of technology and innovation, capacity building across the value chain and provision of start-up kits to enable self-employment,” he said. 

Kyari said the ministry collaborated with bilateral and multilateral institutions, including those of USA, China, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, India, Denmark, Japan, The Netherlands, Morocco and Belarus, on trade and investment facilitation for mechanisation, research development, knowledge transfer, seed development, fertiliser production and rural infrastructure.  

Kyari said the Tinubu administration will consolidate and scale up the achievements in the agricultural sector.