From Teryima Ajijah, Jos
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMoA&RD) has urged the regular meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD) to help tackle food insecurity currently threatening citizens in the country.
The Permanent Secretary, (FMoA&RD), Dr Ernest Umakhihe, represented by a director in the ministry, Engr Shehu Bello, made the appeal on Tuesday at the 55th regular meeting of the NCARD holding in Jos, Plateau State.
“It is therefore, expected that we all continue to provide enabling environment for value chain development across our respective States in order to engender food security in the country,” he said.
He assured that “as stakeholders, the platform provides us the opportunity to share experiences and good practices on value chain development in the agricultural sector, as it affects food security and economic development for adoption and replication by all stakeholders in the sector along our various ecological peculiarities.
Dr Umakhihe said the meeting is geared towards ensuring food security across the country, informed that all sectors of agriculture shall be addressed during the four-day meeting.
Earlier, Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, equally appealed to the NCARD to help proffer permanent solution to the devastating potato blight, a disease bedeviling Irish potatoes yield in the state.
It will be recalled that the disease (potato blight) has caused harm on Irish potato farming this year, and reportedly caused monumental financial loss to farmers in the state estimated at about N500 million.
The governor, who made the appeal through the Commissioner of Agriculture in the state, Dr Hosea Finangwai, on Tuesday on behalf of the state government at the 55th, four day regular council meeting on Agriculture and Rural Development holding in Jos, Plateau state.
The Plateau State Commissioner of Agriculture urged NCARD to consider the state in some recommendations at the end of the meeting to enable better development in the agricultural sector.
“On behalf of Plateau state, I wish to plea that a memo on the request for the upgrade of the potato station at Kuru be given priority on merit, as the state account for 90 percent of the production of Irish potatoes,” he stated.
The meeting which is expected to end Thursday this week, has in attendance stakeholders in agriculture across Nigeria, deliberating on general development of agriculture in the nation.