Increased Production Of Maize, Cassava And Rice…
The Federal Government announced on Wednesday that local production of maize, rice and cassava increased this year 2021.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Mahmood, made the announcement in Abuja during the national exhibition for World Food Day 2021. He said that, since the beginning of the 2021 harvest, his department has been distributing inputs to states across the country to increase food production.
“The yield of Nigeria’s main staple food crops has increased; especially the yield of maize and rice has increased from 12.8 and 12.3 to 13.94 and 14.28 million metric tonnes,” he said.
Mahmood added: “The same applies to cassava, with production from 58.47 metric tonnes in 2018 to 73.91 metric tonnes, and is projected to increase to 93.6 metric tonnes by 2023.
“The production of groundnut, tomatoes and sorghum also increased. Between 2020 and 2021, livestock, dairy and fish production also increased by 166%, 146% and 11% respectively.” He said the Ministry of Agriculture had increased its national grain reserve stock to 109,657 metric tonnes by 2021, adding that it is expected to rise to 219,900 metric tonnes by the end of 2022.
Mahmood said the goal of the Agricultural for Food and Job Plan program as part of the Nigeria Economic Sustainable Development Plan is to create 5-10 million jobs in the agriculture sector and provide interest-free loans to farmers.
He said: “The first phase of the plan has yielded more than 1.1 million beneficiaries across all states and in Abuja.
“Among the 5 million beneficiaries of the AFJP program, the Ministry of Agriculture approved 1,138,000 farmers in 36 states and Abuja in the first phase of implementation.”
The minister said that Nigeria is now the biggest rice producer in Africa, with a production of 9 million tonnes. He also stated that Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava and yam, with 59.4 million tons and 47.9 million tons respectively, and added that the country’s maize production is 10.42 million tons, the 14th position, and 4th in the production of palm oil 7.7 million tons.
Mahmood pointed out that agriculture is considered to be the backbone of overall development in any country with the largest employer with about 75% of the population.