Efforts are in top gear by the Federal Government to boost food security and export of agricultural products, said the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh.
Ogbeh gave the assurance at the 37th National Conference and General Meeting of the Nigerian Institution of Agricultural Engineers (NIAE), held at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, yesterday.
The Minister, who was represented by the Coordinator/Director of the National Programme on Food Security, Kevin Tekpat, stressed that government was intensifying efforts at improving productivity of priority export products.
He said government was adopting deliberate policies to use agriculture as an alternative to oil and was addressing shortage of main food crops, like rice, wheat, maize, beans and soya, while encouraging export through mechanised agriculture.
Meanwhile, in furtherance of its commitment to explore its agricultural value chain potentials and ensure food security, the Lagos State government will organise ‘The Lagos Food Security Summit and Exhibition’.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Food Security, Sanni Ganiyu Okanlawon, noted that the event was being organised to institutionalise a framework that would guarantee sustainable food security.
He said: “The summit, which is scheduled to hold at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja from Thursday, November 10 to Friday, November 11, 2016 is designed to realign emerging realities with new global trends on food safety, food processing, food storage, food handling, funding of agribusiness and agric insurance.”
Okanlawon said the summit themed: ‘Actualising Sustainable Food Security in Lagos – A New Comprehensive Agenda’, would attract major stakeholders from the agricultural sector and academia, as well as prospective foreign and local investors, media, civil society and policy makers in government.
“The summit is expected to provide a veritable platform for discourse on various investment opportunities in agriculture and agro-allied business in the state, with the aim of stimulating private investment in the sector and ultimately optimising its vast agro-processing and agro-allied potentials,” he said.
He added that the summit could not have come at better time when there is a commitment by the present administration to put in place measures to improve the socio-economic wellbeing of residents.