9 November 2012

Nigeria: FG Is Set to Roll Out Flood Recovery Food Production Programme - Minister

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, says that the Federal Government is set to roll out the Flood Recovery Food Production programme.

Adesina made this known during a meeting with the Commissioners and state Directors of Agriculture of the 36 states of the federation in Abuja on Friday.

He said President Goodluck Jonathan had approved N9.7 billion for the implementation of the plan to support farmers in the flood affected areas.

The minister said that the first phase would commence on Nov. 14 with the distribution of 40,000 tonnes of food from the strategic grain reserve to affected families.

"Starting from Nov. 14, my ministry will start to roll out the first part of the Flood Recovery Food Production programme with the distribution of 40,000 tonnes of food to the flood affected families in the flood affected areas.

"We will specifically target women and children. The distribution of seeds and fertilisers for the farmers affected by the floods will start within the next two weeks," he said.

He charged the directors to work with the commissioners to ensure the successful implementation of the programme, which would be led by the six Regional Directors of Agriculture.

Earlier, Adesina said that 100 tonnes of extra-early maturing seeds had been secured and would be distributed to affected farmers to both feed and plant quickly before the next planting season.

He said that 14,300 tonnes of rice seeds from within and outside the country had been procured, adding that planting materials for cassava and yams would be provided for the farmers.

Adesina expressed optimism that the flood recovery plan would be complemented in the dry season production.

"We will complement this flood production plan with expanded dry season production of food.

"We expect to produce an additional 420,000 tonnes of rice in the dry season in six states of the Northwest of the country.

"Together, with the flood recovery production plan, which will add an additional 880,000 tonnes of rice, we expect a total of 1.3 million tonnes of rice."

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the minister in October said that a double up production plan was under way for states not affected by the flood to boost food production.

He also said that the Federal Government would provide improved farm inputs after the flood recedes in affected areas.


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