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Nigeria: Agric firms pledge support to boost government’s food security efforts

Vice-President Kashim Shettima (r) Welcomes the AFEX Team to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT Photo: State House

*President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration is committed to stimulating economic growth, as a consortium of agricultural firms pledges to support two million farmers across four value chains to enhance sustainable agriculture and ensure food security in Nigeria, says Vice-President Kashim Shettima

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration’s efforts at ensuring food security through transformation of agricultural productivity in Nigeria have received a major boost.

The Federal Government disclosed that consortium of mid-sized agriculture companies has pledged to support millions of farmers across different value chains in the West African country.

Stanley Nkwocha, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Media and Communications (Office of The Vice President), Friday, March 8, 2024, stated Vice-President (Sen.) Kashim Shettima, while speaking during the group’s courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, FCT, lauded the efforts of the young entrepreneurs, particularly in “seeking practical solutions to challenges confronting the nation.”

Shettima, who welcomed their partnership with the Nigerian Government, also stated: “Mid-sized companies like yours should be the drivers of change in our nation.

“We can work as a team towards addressing our core challenges.”

The Vice-President noted Tinubu’s leadership and commitment are focused on stimulating growth in the economy, especially working with the private sector.

“My boss is very much devoted to stimulating growth in the Nigerian economy, regardless of the challenges.

“Leadership is actually about challenges and we are mindful of them,” noted Shettima.

The Vice-President stated: “We want collaboration from the private sector to turn agriculture into a business and dramatically change our economic landscape.

“We (as a nation) are one of the resource endowed countries in the world and have no business being poor.”

He equally urged the private sector, including financial institutions, to support the Federal Government’s drive to transform agricultural production and improve the welfare of Nigerians.

Shettima as well stressed the need to engage small-holder farmers (SHFs) with the view to increasing their productivity as part of measures towards achieving the country’s food security objectives.

Earlier in his remarks at the meeting, Mr. Akinyinka Akintunde, leader of the delegation and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AFEX, a leading commodities exchange in Nigeria, had said that the group was at the Presidential Villa to pledge its support to government’s programmes and policies in the agricultural sector of the economy.

Akintunde stated the group is proposing an initiative that will support two million farmers across four value chains (Rice, Maize, Sorghum and Soyabeans) to enhance sustainable agriculture and ensure the success of the food security drive of the Federal Government.

The ADEX CEO also noted the consortium comprising mid-sized agricultural companies in the country, would achieve the set objectives by engaging and collaborating with key stakeholders, including Private Finance Initiative (PFI), Fertilizer Producers & Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) and farmer aggregation companies.

He further highlighted the proposed initiative to also include linking farmers to markets and enriching government’s grain reserves across the country with assorted commodities towards boosting the food security targets of the current administration.

In attendance at the meeting in the State House were the VP Operations at Thrive Agric, Oshone Anavhe; Managing Director of SWAgCo (South West Agriculture Company) Limited, Jide Arowosafe; representative of Sterling Bank, Joshua Zira, and Head, Market Growth at AFEX, Zara Dogo, among others, the statement said.

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