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FG ALLAYS FEAR OVER IMMINENT FOOD SCARCITY

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar has dismissed fears that Nigeria may soon experience food shortage as a result of floods ravaging parts of the country.

The minister gave the assurance while speaking with lawmakers during the budget defence session of the ministry in Abuja.

Some of the lawmakers who lamented the effects of flooding on food production, said there were predictions that Africa may experience food shortage, given the stoppage of grains importation that greeted the Russian-Ukrainian war.

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Abubakar said: “There may be concerns about food scarcity in the coming months, but we will not allow that to happen. I can guarantee you, by the grace of God, because we have measures in place.

“One of the measures is dry season farming, which we have in place. For the money, we are working with the Ministry of Finance. We have got money from financing agencies, one of them is the African Development Bank (AfDB), and we will intensify dry season farming,” he said.

Abubakar said although flood is a natural phenomenon that could not be stopped, it could be used in some situations for the benefit of agricultural production.

The minister said the ministry was assessing the flood situation across the country to ascertain the extent of damage it has done to farmlands and crops, like rice, maize, and the number of farmers affected.

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He said for immediate intervention, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management was distributing grains provided by the ministry across the country.

According to him, the ministry has programmes to address the effect of flooding on farm produce.

On supporting farmers for increased crop production, Abubakar said the ministry had been distributing inputs every year in every geo- political zone.

He added that records of the distribution, including farm implements to farmers, were available.

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