In the last 45 years, Nigeria has had quite a number of policy drives such as Operation Feed the Nation (OFN), Green Revolution (GR), Agricultural Transformation Agenda(ATA), Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) to name a few coinages in search of food sufficiency that will lead to FOOD SECURITY.
A lot of money has been expended in all these efforts and some remarkable achievements have been made but not yet sufficient to make Nigeria food secure.
The Buhari administration has shown a lot of promise through its APP policy (Green Alternative), the CBN Anchor Borrower Programme, innovations like NIRSAL, NALDA, PFI, Food Security Council which definitely keep agriculture in the front banner.
Insecurity, the COVID-19 pandemic and flooding have negatively impacted President Buhari’s effort without a doubt but an institutional risk factor needs serious attention to make Nigeria food secure regardless of the challenges of insecurity and COVID-19.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) can bring about far-reaching achievements if it is reinvigorated promptly to be able to properly and truly create the right kind of synergies with the Cross-cutting MDAs, CBN, BOI, NALDA, PFI, FSC, farmer associations such as AFAN etc.
Nigeria needs a competent and focused person to partner with all stakeholders in the agriculture space to achieve food sufficiency and therefrom Food Security.
The current attitude of unleashing discordant activities by the FMARD will only constitute an impediment to the attainment of the much-desired food security in Nigeria as the stakeholders are simply antagonised rather than incentivised to key into President Muhammadu Buhari’s passion-driven agricultural revolution!
The president is hereby called upon to look into this matter without further delay in order to stem the distraction to the search for food security.
Nigeria is capable of feeding its nearly 200,000,000 people as well as continue to be the food basket of sub-Saharan Africa.
AfCFTA is a great opportunity for Nigeria’s economy to grow appreciably and sustainably through agricultural productivity!
Arc Kabir Ibrahim is the National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria(AFAN)