The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans to revamp farmers’ databases ahead of the commencement of the second phase of dry season farming in a bid to streamline agricultural interventions and weed out “political farmers”.

This move, disclosed by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, during a maiden press briefing organized by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, aims to ensure that only genuine farmers benefit from government-subsidized initiatives.

The initiative comes on the heels of concerns raised by the Bola Tinubu led-administration regarding the exploitation of agricultural policies by individuals with political affiliations but lacking genuine farming backgrounds. The government’s commitment to rectifying this issue underscores its dedication to fostering agricultural development and equitable distribution of resources.

In a comprehensive evaluation of the first phase of dry season farming under the National Agricultural Growth Scheme Agro-Pocket (NAGS-AP) project, measures have been instituted to guarantee the success of subsequent phases. Notably, the upcoming phase will focus on cultivating 150,000 hectares of rice, with an ambitious target of engaging 300,000 genuine farmers. These farmers will receive government-subsidized inputs such as fertilizers, herbicides, and micronutrients to bolster their agricultural productivity.

Furthermore, the government has outlined plans to cultivate 30,000 hectares of maize across all 36 states of the federation, signaling a concerted effort to diversify agricultural production and address food security challenges. Minister Kyari expressed optimism, citing the interest shown by several state governors in participating in the scheme as a testament to its potential impact.

Minister Kyari clarified that 42,000 metric tonnes of grains earmarked for distribution to vulnerable households will be provided at no cost. This initiative, aimed at alleviating food insecurity, underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring access to essential food commodities for all citizens.

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The Ministry of Information and National Orientation has unveiled a five-pillar agenda aligned with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope vision. The Information Minister, Mohammed Idris said the agenda is encompassing efforts to restore trust, amplify policies and programmes, reorient national values, modernize technology and talent, and create an enabling environment for the media, underscores the government’s multifaceted approach to national development.

“The Ministerial Press Briefing Series (MPBS) that we are kicking off today, are in line with our ‘Restore Trust’ and ‘Amplify Policies and Programme’s pillars. This is a chance for you, the distinguished members of the press, to engage with senior officials of the federal government, on behalf of the good people of Nigeria,” the minister stated.

“You will hear first-hand about what the federal government is doing, policies, programmes, targets and objectives, and you will be able to ask questions and receive relevant clarifications. We have also made efforts to ensure that this Briefing Series receives the widest possible coverage, through traditional and digital platforms,” the minister explained.

Minister Idris further said the ministry is “determined to restore trust, confidence and credibility to public communications, by engaging in a timely, proactive and consistent fashion with all our stakeholders, across government, the media, private sector and international community, deploying all available platforms and media.”

The Ministerial Press Briefing Series (MPBS), inaugurated as part of this agenda, serves as a platform for transparent communication between the government and the public, fostering accountability and engagement. Through proactive engagement with stakeholders across various sectors, the government aims to foster trust, confidence, and credibility in public communications, ensuring that its efforts to stabilize the country are effectively communicated and understood by all.