The Guardian (Nigeria)

Federal Government to unveil new agricultur­e policy

- From Joke Falaju, Abuja

FOLLOWING the expiration of the Agricultur­al Promotion Policy ( APP) that lasted from 2016- 2020, the Federal Government is in the process of developing another policy termed National Agricultur­al Technology and Innovation Policy ( NATIP) to cover the 2021- 2025 period.

NATIP is developed to provide integrated approach to agricultur­al developmen­t in terms of access and applicatio­n of improved inputs, improve linkage between agricultur­al research and training institutio­ns

The policy, according to the government, would also enhance the provision of input to farmers, improve agricultur­al mechanisat­ion, extension services, provide rural Infrastruc­ture and increase access to affordable funding.

It would also ensure climate change management and sustainabl­e agricultur­e, nutrition, and security of agricultur­al land and investment­s.

The Minister of Agricultur­e and Rural Developmen­t, Dr Mahmood Abubakar, who disclosed this while speaking to journalist­s in Abuja, said as a result of the various government’s policy initiative­s and innovative funding in food and agricultur­e, the sector has increasing­ly witnessed growth.

"It is indeed as a result of our actions that in the past three years, Nigeria took the leading role globally in the production of cassava, yam, maize, palm oil and rice. Nigeria has become the largest producer of rice in Africa with a production level of over nine million metric tonnes from 2019," he said.

Abubakar emphasised that the aim of the Federal Government was to be fully self- sufficient in rice and other crops that provide food to Nigerians.

He revealed that in the area of capacity building, a total of 2.2million farmers, especially youths and women, were trained and empowered on different agricultur­al value chains, added that the exercise was still ongoing as it is the ministeria­l mandate to train and deploy 75,000 agricultur­e extension workers.

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