President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered the release of 40,000 metric tons of assorted grains to Nigerians from the nation’s Strategic Grains Reserve (SGR).
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, said this after a meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He explained that the execution of the President’s order would be carried out by his ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, which will handle the distribution of about 12,000 metric tons of the total amount.
He added that the same process deployed during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, to distribute 70,000 metric tons of assorted food items across some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), would be used.
The Minister said in compliance with the presidential directive, grains are readily available for immediate distribution.
According to him, the gesture is to cushion the effect of high price of commodities and make beneficiaries enjoy the festive period.
“We have sorghum, maize, millet and the rest of them, we will be releasing an assortment of grains that are in our grain reserves. They are located across the entire country in all probably the six geopolitical zones, we have grain silo,” he said.
On the effect of insecurity on the nation’s food security, Abubakar said government was doing everything possible to prevent a drop in food production, adding that there had not been any impact of food supply so far.
He said: “Certainly, some measure of insecurity might affect a bit of agriculture, however, as you can see, there’s really no sharp drop in productivity in agricultural production. There’s still food, and people are still cultivating in all parts of the country.
“Some of the areas where it has some security implication, yes, it may have a little drop, but the government is doing everything humanly possible to make sure that production continues in other parts and even areas where there are issues, the government is doing whatever it takes.
“Like in the Ministry of Agriculture, we have Agro Rangers who sometimes provide some kind of security cover that will make sure food production does not stop. I can assure you that we don’t have problems with food production at this point”, he said.