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Nigeria Says Process Of Releasing 42,000 MT Of Grains Nationwide In Final Stages

President Tinubu’s media aide Bayo Onanuga emphasised that the grains are free, not to be purchased.

The federal government on Friday, disclosed that its plan to release 42,000 metric tonnes of assorted food commodities in support of the vulnerable population across the country was now in the final stages.

The update was provided on Friday night by the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga.

Onanuga said the Tinubu administration was doubling efforts to ramp up food supply in the country through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

He said the grains in seven locations of strategic reserve, were now being bagged for onward delivery to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), adding the need to bag the grains, caused the delay as the bags were freshly ordered by the government.

“Nigerians will not need to pay for the grain bags, as they are free. This will be complemented by the 60,000 metric tonnes of milled rice to be purchased by the Federal Government from the Mega Rice Millers,” Onanuga said.

He also quoted the Minister of Agriculture, Senator Abubakar Kyari as saying that the announcement of the impending releases of food commodities from the Strategic Reserve had led to a noticeable reduction in commodity prices across major grains markets in the country,

The update added that the federal government was also ramping up food production by boosting dry season farming under the National Agricultural Growth Scheme Agro-Pocket (NAGS-AP) Project .

The first phase of the dry season farming, which was launched in November, 2023, focuses on the cultivation of wheat across 15 wheat-producing states, covering 118,657 hectares and involving 107,429 farmers.

According to Kyari, the fields were now lush green while harvest would commence in a matter of weeks.

He also shared impressive reports on the growth of wheat from Jigawa State, which was projected to harvest from about 50,000 hectares, 10,000 hectares more than initially allotted under the programme.

“Phase 2 of the Dry Season Farming will commence soon, across all 36 states of Nigeria and FCT. It will cover rice, maize, and cassava.

“For rice, the target is 250,000 hectares involving 500,000 farmers with the expected output of 1 million metric tons of paddy rice. 

“For maize, we are cultivating 55,000 hectares with 110,000 farmers thereby adding 165,000 metric tons to national maize production while for cassava, we are doing 35,000 hectares with 70,000 farmers to produce 525,000 metric tons of cassava.

“The NAGS-AP Project offers a 50 percent subsidy. However, the Federal Government is providing additional support for Phase 2, which will bring aggregate subsidy to about 93 percent to farmers cultivating the crops.

“Also, various governors are showing strong support, to further enhance the subsidy,” Kyari was quoted by the updates.

In addition, the update noted that additional solar-powered water pumps for irrigation, provided by the Federal Government, were being deployed to aid the upcoming phase of the programme.

 Olawale Ajimotokan and Nume Ekeghe

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