Nigerians should not fear any food crisis, the Federal Government said on Monday, as it defied International Monetary Fund forecasts.
He stated that various measures had been put in place to prevent food shortages in Nigeria, stressing that there was no need for panic among citizens across the country.
on monday PUNCH The International Monetary Fund mentioned that Nigerians face high food prices/risks in 2023 due to recent floods and high fertilizer prices.
But the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development opposed the position of the global financial institution, which issued a document detailing what FMARD had done and was doing to prevent this crisis.
“People should not be afraid of any food crisis. The minister has explained this and so people should not express fear about their (IMF) projections,” FMARD Information Director Joel Oruche told our correspondent.
In its document on Long/Short Term Measures to Ameliorate Food Production and Supply Disruptions in Nigeria, the ministry said it was implementing various interventions to mitigate the disruptions caused by the recent floods.
FMARD said it “distributed various food items from the Federal Government’s strategic food reserve to the vulnerable and flood victims through the Federal Ministry of Human Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.”
He added: “Wheat, rice, maize, sorghum, cassava cuttings), fertilizers, agrochemicals and agricultural equipment distribution of early maturing seeds to affected crop farmers across the country.
“Distribution of concentrated agricultural inputs (fertilizers, certified seeds and agrochemicals) to affected wheat, rice and maize farmers for dry season farming in Phase 1 of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda and Public Operations based in 36 states and Abuja”.
The ministry said breeding farms to regenerate the affected poultry farms were also distributed nationwide, adding that mass vaccination of animals is underway to prevent incidents of disease outbreaks that often occur after flood disasters.
FMARD also stated that it was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of the Interior to improve farm security by deploying agricultural herdsmen across the country.
He said the government had approved a five-year tax rebate as an incentive to encourage private investment in the agricultural sector and increase food production, processing and marketing.
“Supplying the strategic food reserve with 200,000 metric tons of various foods,” he said.
He added, “There is a commitment to land preparation in collaboration with the state and Local Governments to open up more land and take advantage of residual moisture for dry season agriculture,” among others.