• Friday, June 21, 2024
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FG unveils 3-year Agric roadmap,targets 23% increase in contribution to GDP


Nigeria’s Federal Government on Wednesday unveiled a three-year agricultural roadmap which targets to raise the contribution of the agricultural sector  in the next three years.

The roadmap document titled “The Green Alternative” intends to amongst other things, increase agriculture’s share of the GDP to 23%, increase the share of labour force to 70%, increase agricultural activity mix by 85% in crop production with a 15% increase in livestock and other non-crop. It also seeks to enhance the country’s foreign exchange earning capacity through agricultural exports with an intent to grow the agriculture’s share of Non-Oil Exports earnings to 75%. It will also amongst other things facilitate the government’s capacity to meet its obligations to Nigerians on food security, safety and quality nutrition, increase agriculture’s share of the budget by 2.0%.

The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh on a working visit to Netherlands recently

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council meeting which held at the Aso Villa yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, alongside the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Al-Hassan, said the roadmap was presented to cabinet members at the meeting and was extensively discussed and approved. The roadmap for agricultural operations in the next three years, according to Ogbeh is a detailed document that outlines government’s policies and objectives that will make agriculture the next biggest alternative in the country’s drive to diversify the economy.

“It outlines virtually everything we need to do, every policy we need to undertake to achieve self-sufficiency in agriculture and also to become a major exporter of agriculture products,” he said adding that the new roadmap will also guide the country to attain food self-sufficiency.

The government through the roadmap targets that within “another year and a half in the maximum we should be reasonably self-sufficient in grains like rice, maize, beans, we may not achieve everything in wheat but we will be very close to our targets”.

On how government intends to implement the road map amidst clashes between farmers and herdsmen, the minister said the ministry of agriculture was liaising with the ministry of interior to create measures “where the civil defence corps may have to train a special department to protect huge investors and investment in their farms for a fee, because kidnapping will not stop”. From the security point of view, Ogbeh said strategic measure have to be taken to make sure that people who invest are protected. “In other countries of the world you may have noticed that people live on their farms, you hardly see a farmer who lives in the city, he lives on the farm with his family, you cannot do that here. They will come and take you, your wife and children in the name of kidnapping, we have to stop it and we have to use the legitimate instrument of the state to do it legitimately because the farmer has no right to buy an AK47 to protect himself” he said.

All is in place for the Paddock Development Programme of government which is to first start from the FCT, the minister said explaining that already seeds of grasses are ready for planting and in the next one year most of the cows would be moved into ranches and reserves depending.

“Some people don’t want to hear about grazing reserves and the government has no intention of forcing anyone to surrender one inch of land. Some states are willing, we shall develop these things in their domain, cows will move in there, there will be given best grass for cattle. Most of these grasses contain 18 percent protein and amino acid, so the cows can feed well, have the good water to drink and give us the best milk and beef”.

Council also approved a memo presented by the Minister of Power, Works, Housing and Urban Development, Babatunde Fashola, for the re-designation of two roads in Kaduna State from being federal roads to State roads based on the request by the Kaduna State governor for the President to release the roads to the state, for proper management.

The two roads , Nnamdi Azikiwe Express Way which is known as the Kaduna bye-pass road and the popular Ahmadu Bello Way which run across almost inside Kaduna town are presently Federal roads. Council approved the request and also appealed to other state governments that can afford to take over federal roads to lessen the burden on federal government, to enable them to repair and maintain roads as quick as possible, to come forward.