FG begins review of agric promotion policy

The Federal Government has begun the review of the Agricultural Promotion Policy, to refocus on technology and innovation.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono, who dropped the hint at the weekend, added that the review would, among others, strengthen agro industrialisation, reduce unemployment, boost the economy, guarantee food security, advance trade and investments in the sector and serve as a veritable strategy to diversify the economy.

Government launched the Agricultural Promotion Policy in 2016 to boost food production and increase foreign exchange earnings from the sector.

Nanono, during the South South Agro-Industrial Inspection/Town Hall Meeting in Calabar, Cross River State, at the weekend, disclosed that the ministry was committed to job creation through the review of the policy.

He pointed out that that government’s new mechanisation strategy would guarantee quantum leap in productivity.

“This mechanisation revolution is going to start in 632 councils in the next six months across the country and will be private sector-driven,” he said.

Calling on individuals and groups to come up with proposals on how to increase the viability of the service centres, the minister added that government would guarantee the facilities.He assured on the success of the intervention, reminding the participants of Nigeria’s strategic advantages.

“We have a huge population and market which can be primed to achieve the goals and objectives of the mechanisation policy.”

The minister lauded Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River and his team for the efforts towards revolution in the state’s agriculture sector, noting that it was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural policy thrust geared towards job creation, food sufficiency and overall economic growth.

In his remarks, Ayade noted that under his watch as governor, the state made huge investments in the sector. “This is witnessed in our establishment of multifarious agro-allied industries and our desire to make agriculture, rather than dependence on federal allocations, the mainstay of our economy.”

The governor pointed out that cocoa is one of the foremost cash crops with which Cross River was blessed.

“Our productive capacity in this cash crop has placed us as the second highest producer of cocoa in Nigeria. And desiring not play second fiddle anymore, we are resolved to commence a radical process that will galvanise our capacities and take us to the premier position in cocoa production in Nigeria within the next 24 months,” he added.

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