The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Nanono, has flagged-off the distribution of agricultural inputs to Nigerian farmers, a statement said on Monday
The statement signed by the ministry’s spokesperson, Ikemefuna Ezeajaa, said the exercise serves to boost agricultural production in the country and avert food scarcity in 2021.
The inputs distributed to the smallholder farmers include varieties of rice, maize, and wheat seeds including palm seedlings, he said.
According to the statement, rice farmers association, cowpea farmers association, women and youth farmers association are the beneficiaries of the inputs.
Nigeria had restricted food importation as it strives to produce more of the food it consumes.
The country shut its borders, largely to prevent the importation and smuggling of items such as rice, poultry products and petrol.
The Nigerian borders remain shut, but smuggling is still rife with the connivance of corrupt security officials.
President Muhammadu Buhari had instructed Mr Nanono to work with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to ensure agricultural services were not disrupted by the restriction of movement, in order to prevent a food crisis.
The National Agricultural Seed Council of Nigeria (NASC) had in May said it had certified 81,000 metric tonnes of assorted seeds for farmers across the country.
Recently, President Buhari also advised Nigerian farmers to increase food production as the country has “no money for food importation”.