The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Thursday, released 40,000 metric tonnes of food to Nigerians.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, who flagged off the ‘Emergency Release of Assorted Food Commodities to the Poor and Vulnerable Nigerians’ at the Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, Camp in Karmajiji, in the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, pointed that it is imperative for the Buhari-led administration to release the assorted food commodities to these vulnerable Nigerians who had found themselves in this predicament.
He noted that incessant banditry attacks have displaced many farming communities in some States, disrupted their source of livelihood and rendered them homeless.
He also added that the high prices of maize in the open market has affected the cost of production of poultry feeds and consequently, the availability of the products thereby threatening the poultry industry.
The emergency release of 40,000 metric tonnes of assorted food commodities was for the displaced/vulnerable populace in States including FCT, Federal Ministries, Poultry Associations and Feed Millers.
He said: “The incessant banditry attacks have displaced many farming communities in some States, disrupted their source of livelihood and rendered them homeless of which some are currently taking shelter around the schools, mosques and churches. Many of these households are in dire need of food assistance to ameliorate their sufferings as they are facing untold hardship and food scarcity.
“Also, the high prices of Maize in the open market has affected the cost of production of poultry feeds and consequently, the availability of the products thereby threatening the poultry industry which has been a major employer of labour for decades.
“Furthermore, with the rising prices of food item across the country which has been attributed to insecurity, high fuel prices, the purchasing power of the public servants has been eroded making food accessibility difficult and challenging.
“In the light of the above, and as part of the Federal Government of Nigeria, effort to ensure food security and alleviate poverty, Mr. President, Muhammad Buhari has approved the release of 40,000MT of assorted food commodities from the National Strategic Reserve to the vulnerable Nigerians to cushion the effects of rising prices of food items.”
However, he solicited support from Nigerians, organisations to address food availability issues and prices, because government alone cannot address them despite it is absolutely fundamental for it to address food security challenge.
“I wish to state here that political commitment is absolutely fundamental for addressing the food security challenge, but it is not the complete answer. Strengthening food systems and chains is a shared responsibility.
“Governments, industry and consumers all have a vital role and must work together to ensure ‘farm to the table’ food security’, he pointed.
Meanwhile, the District High Chief of Karmajiji, Yunusa Abudlahi, said, “I want to commend the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s policies in the agricultural sector from 2015.
“They have made Nigeria to achieve food security and economic growth. I also want to appreciate the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development for coming to Karmajiji district to flag-off the ceremony and distribute food items to displace and vulnerable people in my community during this Ramadan ceremony and Easter festival.
One of the members of IDP camp in Karmajiji, Usman Garba, said, “I am very happy to because at least this effort of the government will help so many people including my family and other people around me.
“I pray that God will bless the government for helping us and putting food in our mouth, especially in this season of Ramadan.”
Meanwhile in a related development, at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, where the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, went to deliver assorted food commodities, Abubakar assured that the Federal Government will continue to ameliorate plight of Nigerians, especially women, children and IDPs, persons living with disability, indigent who are mostly vulnerable.
On hand to receive the Agric Minister was his counterpart at the Ministry of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, which Tallen commended the effort of the Buhari-led administration, especially now that prices of food items are on the high side, and assured that the items would be distributed to the beneficiaries appropriately with equity.
While receiving the commodities, the Chairperson, Catholic Women Organisation, Abuja Archdiocese Ebele Okoye, said, “This occasion is a blessing to women.
“It shows that, yes, women are recognised, not just women, the vulnerable among us. It shows that we have leaders who are human like us and we are grateful to them.”
Also, the Deputy President, Federation of Muslim Women Association in Nigeria, FOMWAN, Fatimah Nadako, said, “This occasion is very beautiful and important.
“It came at the right time because the women actually need this assistant from the federal government to also help their family members and we really appreciate them.”