Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, mentioned this during the 45th meeting of the National Council for Agriculture and Rural Development, while addressing the participants.
During the meeting, he presented empirical data that showed how little the sector has exploited the land resources available in the country. This data has highlighted the opportunities that the sector could potentially exploit and its feasibility.
“Nigeria is endowed with a total of 79 million hectares of agricultural land of which only 44% is cultivated. The country also has 267 billion cubic meters of fresh surface water and 58 billion cubic meters of groundwater, of which 37 billion cubic meters are only stored in dams. The annual rainfall in the country is between 300 mm and 4000 mm. Conversely, the potential irrigable area is about 3.14 million hectares, less than 7% currently used. said Dr Mohammad Abubaka.
Raising awareness is a key strategy of the Nigerian government, the ministry noted, as efforts to train and educate farmers have shown promise so far. 153,124 women and young people were trained in crop science, fishing and breeding. About 142,703 have been empowered to take on projects, the minister noted. It was also revealed that the government had trained 214,787 farmers in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and 220,018 farmers in Farmer Business School.
Diversifying the Nigerian oil economy and integrating technology with agriculture are two crucial strategies that the Federal Government of Nigeria is committed to.
This is guided by the new National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy Framework, 2022-2027, launched in August 2022, which aims to modernize the agricultural sector in line with changing food systems and supply chains. global. said the minister.
He continued; “In fact, NATIP is the ministry’s response to the administration’s current program to diversify the country’s economy from petroleum oil to agriculture and solid minerals. The document serves as a successor policy to the Agricultural Promotion Policy, 2016-2020, to develop priority value chains based on comparative ecological advantage in the crop, livestock and fisheries sub-sectors in collaboration with the state government.