Federal government has stressed the need to intensify the production and processing of quality agricultural products and also close the gaps of demand and supply in Nigeria.
The Minister of Agriculture and rural development, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono made this known at 2020 the world food day symposium held in Abuja.
He explained that attaining quality livelihood, as well as food and nutrition security requires practicing agriculture with an integrated approach.
The minister who was represented by the permanent secretary, Abdulkadir Mu’azu said “Cultivation of diverse diets containing balanced amounts of crops and combinations of fresh vegetables, cereals, fats and oils, as well as legumes will provide the full range of nutrients needed to live healthy and active lives.
This will go a long way in reducing the prevalence of child malnutrition, chronic energy deficiency in child-bearing women and cases of obesity” The minister added.
Alhaji Nanono explained that although the country recorded tremendous achievement in the sector few years ago, a lot still needs to be done in ensuring that hunger and poverty is completely eradicated.
According to him in 2017, Nigeria ranked first with 59.4millon tons and 47.9 million tons in cassava and yam production respectively, 14th in Maize production with 10.42 million tons and 4th in Palm oil with 7.7 million tons in the same year.
Furthermore in 2019,Nigeria became the largest producer of rice in Africa with a production level of 9 million metric tons.
The Minister who stressed that availability and affordability of quality food for all Nigerians is key believes the world food day symposium will provide a platform for stakeholders in the agricultural sector to brainstorm, focusing on lessons learned while unfolding policies and programmes for agricultural development.
Meanwhile representative of Oxfam in Nigeria, Olumide Ojo called on the Nigerian government to scale up its investment in the agricultural sector. He also urged that the National Assembly accent to the food bill.
Olumide further called for women centred specific intervention programmes that will support enhanced productivity in the country’s agricultural sector.