Nigeria Become Africa’s Top Food Importing Country as Arable Lands Lie Fallow


Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, announced a significant federal initiative aimed at addressing the country’s food shortages and rising cost of living through a massive food importation scheme. This plan comes in response to vast arable lands in Nigeria lying unused.

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During a press conference, Minister Kyari outlined several key measures to be implemented over the next 180 days:

1. 150-Day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities:
• Suspension of duties, tariffs, and taxes for the importation of specific food items, including maize, husked brown rice, wheat, and cowpeas through land and sea borders.
• Imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) to ensure affordability and quality.
2. Government Importation:
• The federal government will import 250,000 metric tons each of wheat and maize. These semi-processed commodities will be supplied to small-scale processors and millers nationwide.
3. Guaranteed Minimum Price and Surplus Management:
• Engage stakeholders to set a Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) and purchase surplus food commodities to replenish the National Strategic Food Reserve.
4. Ramp-Up Production for 2024/2025:
• Continue supporting smallholder farmers during the ongoing wet season farming through existing initiatives.
• Strengthen and accelerate dry season farming.
• Promote aggressive agricultural mechanization to reduce production costs and boost productivity.
• Collaborate with sub-national entities to identify and cultivate irrigable lands.
• Work with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation to rehabilitate irrigation facilities under river basin authorities.
5. Youth and Women Engagement:
• Develop strategies for youth and women to engage in greenhouse cultivation of horticultural crops such as tomatoes and peppers, aiming to stabilize prices and increase production volumes.
6. Military and Para-Military Agricultural Involvement:
• Expedite collaborations with the Nigerian Military for the Defence Farms Scheme to cultivate arable lands.
• Encourage other para-military establishments to utilize available lands for cultivation.
7. Livestock Development:
• Inaugurate the Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee to align with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.
8. Enhancing Nutrition Security:
• Promote the production of fortified food commodities.
• Support the Home Garden Initiative led by the Office of The First Lady.

The minister emphasized the importance of collaboration among all relevant MDAs and stakeholders. Over the next 14 days, the Presidential Food Systems Coordinating Unit (PFSCU) and the Economic Management Team (EMT) will finalize implementation frameworks, ensuring public participation and accountability through a managed dashboard for direct oversight by the President.

Minister Kyari reiterated the government’s commitment to achieving food security and ensuring no Nigerian goes hungry, highlighting that both immediate and long-term strategies are crucial for sustainable and resilient food systems in the country.

David Okafor
David Okafor
David Okafor Foreign Affairs Editor, Naija247news Media Group David Okafor is the Foreign Affairs Editor at Naija247news Media Group, with over five years of experience in international journalism. He excels in delivering insightful and impactful coverage of global politics and economic trends. Holding a degree in International Relations, David is known for his investigative skills and editorial leadership. His work ensures Naija247news provides accurate and comprehensive analysis of world events, earning him respect in the media industry.

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