By Usman Mohammed Zaria
As part of measures to combat food inflation across the country, the Federal Government has flag off the 2023 dry season farming in Jigawa state.
In his speech during the official flag off ceremony held at Kadume, hadejia local government area of the state, the Minister of Agriculture and food security, Senator Abubakar Kyari explained that the dry season farming is under the National Agricultural Growth Scheme And Agro-Pocket Project NAGS&AP.
He said, dry season farming offers them a unique opportunity to harness the untapped potential of their land and diversify nigeria’s food production capabilities.
He however noted that, its importance cannot be over emphasized , as it allows them to overcome seasonal limitations and meet the demands of their growing population.
He pointed out that, the dry season farming is being boosted by an african development bank loan of 134 Million Dollars and implemented under the national agricultural growth scheme and agro-pocket NAGS-AP project.
Abubakar Kyari said, the implementation is ICT-driven with earlier steps taken to geo-locate farmlands, enumerate, register and cluster no fewer than 250,000 farmers.
He said In wheat alone, they aim to support between 150,000 to 250,000 farmers with 50% input subsidy to cultivate between 200,000 to 250,000 hectares and an expected yield of 1,250,000 tonnes of wheat.
The Minister said, other selected staples are earmarked for similar, varied support, all aimed at significantly reducing food inflation, as well as Nigeria’s dependence on foreign import, while increasing domestic consumption.
He said, this will promote agricultural self-sufficiency and stimulate economic growth.
According to him, the critical requirement among others is availability of irrigable land where the dry season farming will take place.
The minister said, the crops being targeted for the dry season include wheat, cassava, rice, maize, sorghum which seeds have been imported from Mexico.
He noted that wheat farmers have been guaranteed off take of their produce by the flour millers association of nigeria.
He described the launching as a milestone in realizing the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Abubakar Kyari said, the availability of agricultural inputs and machinery will enhance the cultivation of about one hundred and twenty thousand hectares in different parts of the country.
He urged all farmers, researchers, private sector entities, civil society organizations and other stakeholders , to come together and seize the opportunity presented by this 2023 Dry season farming initiative.
Kyari also called on them to usher in a new era of agricultural prosperity and ensure a brighter future for Nigeria.
He said they can transform their challenges into opportunities and pave the way for a sustainable and food-secure nation.
Radio Nigeria reports that, some of the dignitaries that attended the event include Governor Umar Namadi of Jigawa State, Emir Of Hadejia Dr Adamu Abubakar Maje, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Vice President, Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia and top government officials among others.
Agricultural inputs, including seeds, fertilizer, herbicides, solar irrigation pumping machines and pesticides was distributed to farmers during the occasion.