Nigeria’s food security bid receives boost as agric coys pledge support

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*President Tinubu devoted to stimulating economic growth – VP Shettima

The bid by the Tinubu administration to ensure food security through transformation of agricultural productivity in the country has received a major boost with a consortium of mid-sized agriculture companies pledging to support millions of farmers across different value chains in the country. 

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Speaking during the group’s courtesy visit to the presidential villa on Friday, Vice President Kashim Shettima commended the efforts of the young entrepreneurs, particularly in “seeking practical solutions to challenges confronting the nation”.

Sen. Shettima who welcomed their partnership said, “Mid-sized companies like yours should be the drivers of change in our nation. We can work as a team towards addressing our core challenges.”

The Vice President noted President Tinubu’s leadership and commitment to stimulating growth in the economy, especially working with the private sector.

He said, “My boss is very much devoted to stimulating growth in the Nigerian economy, regardless of the challenges. Leadership is actually about challenges and we are mindful of them. We want collaboration from the private sector to turn agriculture into a business and dramatically change our economic landscape. We (as a nation) are one of the resource endowed countries in the world and have no business being poor.”

He called on the private sector, including financial institutions, to support the Federal Government’s drive to transform agricultural production and improve the welfare of Nigerians.

The Vice President stressed the need to engage small-holder farmers with the view to increasing their productivity as part of measures towards achieving the country’s food security objectives.

Earlier in his remark, leader of the delegation and CEO of AFEX – a leading commodities exchange in Nigeria, Mr Akinyinka Akintunde, said the group was at the presidential villa to pledge its support to government’s programmes and policies in the agricultural sector.

He said the group is proposing an initiative that will support two million farmers across four value chains (Rice, Maize, Sorghum and Soyabeans) to enhance sustainable agriculture and ensure the success of the food security drive of the Federal Government.

Mr Akintunde said the consortium comprising mid-sized agricultural companies in Nigeria will achieve the set objectives by engaging and collaborating with key stakeholders, including Private Finance Initiative (PFI), Fertilizer Producers & Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN) and farmer aggregation companies.

He outlined the proposed initiative to also include linking farmers to markets and enriching government’s grain reserves across the country with assorted commodities, all in a bid to boost the food security targets of the administration.

Also present at the meeting were the VP Operations at Thrive Agric, Oshone Anavhe; Managing Director of SWAgCo (South West Agriculture Company) Limited, Jide Arowosafe; representative of Sterling Bank, Joshua Zira, and Head, Market Growth at AFEX, Zara Dogo, among others.

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