More than seven million Nigerians are actively employed in agriculture under the administration’s diversification agenda, the Federal Government claimed yesterday. The ministry of agriculture is working to ensure the sector offers 20 million jobs in the nearest future.
A statement issued by Mallam Tanko Abdullahi Yunusa, Media Assistant to the Minister of finance, budget and national planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, quoted her in opening remark yesterday, at the ongoing virtual World Bank-IMF 2021 Spring meetings roundtable on ‘food security in Africa: a resilient food system beyond COVID-19’. Notwithstanding the figure, the Minister said Nigeria still faces critical challenges in food security like other nations. These challenges, she said affect both the upstream and downstream agricultural sector.
As a way forward, she said: “We believe that the current food situation is unsustainable. We strongly believe that given the quantum of arable land in Africa, the time to change the global support to commercial agriculture is now. “This certainly requires FDI flows into the agriculture value chain.
Our governments are prepared and are following up with necessary macroeconomics and fiscal reforms including governance and institutional strengthening; and prioritising intra-Africa trade as well as structural reforms and public investments.”
She called for an integrated, targeted and wellcoordinated approach that will guarantee that no one goes to sleep hungry. She urged international community, particularly the multilaterals and the private sector, to key in and to assist Africa to build food resilience and pursue the attainment of the sustainable development goal (SDG) No.2 and the goals of African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.” The minister noted that a robust and secured food system is central to the health of both humans and the economies of nations. “As the main source of nourishment and jobs for millions of the population, the conversation around the topic is critically well set,” she said.