FG moves to modernise agric sector, unveils new policy
The Federal Government yesterday launched a new agricultural policy tagged National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP), which targets to modernise the sector in line with global trends.
The six-year national agricultural policy strategy to be implemented between 2022-2027 is aimed at sustainable development of national technological and innovative capacity to fast-track import substitution with particular emphasis on the reduction of rice, dairy and fish importation.
The policy would further increase resilience in digital agriculture, thereby promoting potential value chains and agricultural investment.
Speaking during the unveiling of the new policy in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar, stated that the focus of the new NATIP 2022-2027 was premised on 10 thematic areas.
These, according to him, include Stakeholders Synergy and Alignment, Knowledge Creation and Transfer, Rapid Mechanisation, Agricultural Development Fund Establishment, Extension Service Delivery Revitalisation and Livestock Development.
Others are Priority Crop Value Chain Strengthening, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Marine and Inland Fisheries Development, Market Development and Agricultural Lands and Investments Partnership.
He disclosed that the policy document also covers the crosscutting areas of Digital and Climate-Smart Agriculture Promotion, Rural Infrastructure Development, Nutrition and Exports Standardisation.
It also includes Agricultural Lending and Insurance, Data and Information Management and Quality Agricultural Inputs Access.
Agricultural Land and Water Resources Usage, Women and Youth in Agriculture, Cooperatives Revitalisation and National Food Reserve and Food Security are also part of the new plan.
The Minister recalled that the Ministry’s operations over the last six years has been shaped by the Agricultural Promotion Policy 2016-2020 along the thematic areas of productivity enhancement, institutional realignment and private sector investment, saying the framework facilitated appreciable increase in agricultural production and job creation through the infrastructure, research, extension, mechanisation and value chain activities in the country.
He, however, urged stakeholders to key into the NATIP 2022-2027 for its smooth implementation towards ensuring food and nutrition security in the country.
Nevertheless, stakeholders have urged the government to ensure that the policy is well implemented to achieve its set objectives.
The Director General of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Abuja Office, Prof. Lateef Sani, called for an all-inclusive implementation of the policy, saying this would help improve some of the current gaps in food security.
On his part, the Acting Programme Leader of the International Food Policy (IFPRI), Dr. Bedru Balana, said the new policy would help to improve food production, increase support to smallholder farmers, improve value chain development and also household income and livelihoods.