The Federal Ministry of Agriculture (FMARD) and the Nigerian Army Farms and Ranches limited (NAFARLS) are set to collaborate in fostering food security and agribusiness in the country.
The proposed collaboration is contained in a statement signed by Mr Ikemefuna Ezeaja, the Director of Information at FMARD and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday.
According to the statement, the Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, welcomed the idea of a collaboration between the ministry and army.
Nanono was quoted to have made the remarks when a delegation of NAFARLS visited his in Abuja.
He remarked that strong collaboration with the agency would reinforce the ministry’s drive towards achieving sustained food sufficiency for the nation.
The minister was optimistic that as they jointly agreed to embark on the same policy of mechanisation, research/development of improved seeds, training of extension services workers across the country and food processing, the collaboration would be fruitful.
Nanono explained that the role of research institutes in ensuring improved seedlings which could result in bumper harvest, would also create jobs and boost agribusiness development in the nation.
He added that it would also increase agricultural products, create jobs and boost agribusiness development.
The minister also expressed satisfaction with NAFARLS’s acceptance to key into the ministry’s programme, especially mechanisation and extension services.
According to him, the army has proven that it is not only involved in protecting the territorial integrity of the country but also active in the area of food security.
“The army also finds time to invest in the agricultural policies that are geared towards feeding the nation, creating jobs and enhancing the nation’s economy by generating revenue,’’ the minister was quoted as saying.
He stated that the mechanisation programme of the federal government would begin before the end of 2020 in 634 Local Government Areas in Nigeria and would be private-sector driven.
On his part, the Executive Director of NAFARLS, Brig. Gen. Maina Kadai said “the agency’s current structure was designed to broaden its scope and mandate to cover ranching and agriculture to support the federal government’s policy on food security’’.
Kadai added that NAFARLS is also expected to generate revenue for the Nigerian Army (NA), feed the entire Army Corps and contribute to the national GDP.
“NAFARL is the premier and only Nigerian Army agricultural establishment.
“It is also to builds capacities of staff for the efficient employment of modern agricultural techniques in conformity with global best practices,’’ Kadai said.