As part of efforts to accelerate action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has assured of its commitment to achieving food security and ending hunger in the country.
Minister of agriculture and rural development, Dr Mohammed Mahmud Abubakar, gave the assurance yesterday in Abuja when he spoke at the inaugural partnership economy summit organised by the Federal Ministry of Special Duties aimed at translating global goals into local business in Nigeria.
Represented by the director, planning and policy coordination in the ministry, Zubairu Abdullahi, the minister said that investing in the agricultural sector of the economy can address not only hunger and malnutrition but also other challenges including poverty; water and energy use, climate change, unsustainable production and consumption.
He said the national agricultural technology and innovation plan which is a four-year strategy from 2021-2024 is designed to achieve knowledge and technology driven agriculture for ensuring sustainable national food security and nutrition, diversification, job creation and resilience.
The minister also stated that the ministry had mainstreamed the agriculture SDGs into its sectoral plans with a lot of projects and programmes currently implemented with a view to generating employment and ensuring food security.
He said the agricultural sector food security and nutrition strategy, 2016-2025 which has eight priority areas including social protection nets for vulnerable groups, will help in addressing malnutrition by developing nutrition sensitive agricultural livelihoods and intervention with income generating activities for at-risk-groups, and by making nutritious food more accessible.
On national gender policy in agriculture, the minister said the ministry has launched a policy since October, 2019 to promote and ensure the adoption of gender sensitive and gender responsive approaches to agricultural sector planning and programming so that people with special needs and women have equal access to and control of productive resources and opportunities to achieve their potentials and sustain livelihood.