The Federal Government aims to create 10 million jobs through dry season farming initiatives

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The Federal Government announced on Monday that the 2024 dry season farming is expected to generate 5-10 million jobs nationwide.

This revelation was made during the 30th regular meeting of the National Council on Water Resources and Sanitation in Abuja.

The recent cultivation of 323,000 hectares of farmlands, supported by the Federal Government, has raised optimism among farmers and agro-dealers about a potential drop in the cost of food items.

According to The PUNCH’s exclusive report last week, the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro-Pocket Project, initiated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in January 2024, highlighted significant cultivation of wheat, rice, maize, and cassava.

The targeted hectares for the 2023/2024 dry season farming include 123,000 for wheat, 150,000 for rice, 30,000 for maize, and 20,000 for cassava.

Addressing the National Council on Water Resources, Shehu Aliyu, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanisation, outlined three flagship programs aimed at ensuring the success of the 2024 dry season farming and creating millions of jobs.

These programs include Water for Expanded Irrigated Agriculture, Partnership for Expanded Irrigation, and River Basin Strategy for Poverty Alleviation.

Aliyu emphasized the importance of aligning with the state of emergency on food security and the administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

He mentioned the launch of dry season farming covering 120,000 hectares of land in Jigawa State, highlighting the involvement of River Basin Development Authorities in leveraging current interventions for similar initiatives.

The Permanent Secretary expects these interventions to result in the creation of 5-10 million jobs within the agricultural value chain.

He stressed the need for collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation to ensure year-round food production through adequate irrigation.

Governors from Kwara, Taraba, Ondo, and Kogi also visited the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, advocating for increased crop production to ensure food security in Nigeria.

Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, emphasized the importance of concentrating efforts on dry season farming and improving yields to meet the government’s food targets.

The goal is not only to address the rising cost of food and living conditions but also to potentially export food, given Nigeria’s current status as the region’s cheapest food provider.

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