Minister of state for agriculture and rural development, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, has solicited for more financial support to upscale investment in the agriculture sector.
He said the sector deserves better financing in order to provide credit facilities to support the sector’s value chain and drive the current administration’s agenda to diversify Nigeria’s economy.
According to statement by the ministry’s chief communication officer, Ezeaja Ikemefuna, Shehuri stated this in Abuja during a virtual meeting to round off activities in celebration of the 2021 World Food Day.
He said the ministry is strongly committed to meeting the domestic food requirement, exporting at qualitative levels and creation of favorable business environment to make agro business thrive.
According to him, ‘’ there is a deliberate strategic approach towards job creation, conserving foreign exchange and attaining national food security.
Shehuri pointed out that the seed sub- sector supply chain is being repositioned to ensure that the farmers have access to quality seeds to improve yield. “The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) under my watch has been directed to interface with key seed industry stakeholders to ensure that Early Generation Seeds (EGS) are structured to ensure uninterrupted supply of certified seeds’.’
He disclosed that, ‘’there is also on-going awareness campaign by the council on the importance of using improved seeds to boost production’’, adding that the administrative bottlenecks that previously hindered farmers’ easy access to fertiliser have been addressed .
Speaking further, the minister said that “the partnership with the government of Brazil to pilot the establishment of 117 mechanisation centers across the country is on- going.
According to him, “When these centers are completed and operational, farmers will be able to buy mechanisation services for a fee with relative ease without needing to own expensive equipment for farm operations’’.