NIGERIA – Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has launched a five-year national potato production initiative to boost the country’s food security.

FMARD in Nigeria has the mandate of ensuring the country’s food security in the crop, livestock, and fisheries sectors.

It achieves this by stimulating agricultural employment and services, as well as promoting the production and supply of raw materials in the agricultural sector.

The ministry also creates a market for the products of the industrial sector, generates foreign exchange, and aids in rural socio-economic development.

The recently outlined project by FMARD is a partnership between the federation and the Green Innovation Centre for the Agriculture and Food Sector, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), and other relevant partners.

The National Potato Strategy (NPS) for 2023-2028, following its launch, will scale potato production to meet commercial standards in the agricultural value chains.

This approach will boost export revenue and thus significantly contribute to the attainment of food and nutrition security in Nigeria.

“The strategy would stimulate economic growth through various agricultural value chain activities, create employment opportunities, and improve livelihoods for young people and women,” outlined Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

Dr. Umakhile was represented by Engr. Director of the Federal Department of Agriculture, Abdullahi Abubakar in the event hosted by Crispan Hotel in Jos, Plateau State recently.

He further stated that the ministry has made food security an urgent priority and is fully committed to achieving it through increased production, processing, value addition, and product development.

In Dr. Umakhile’s view, the National Potato Strategy (NPS) 2023-2028 stems from the premise that the Nigerian potato sector can catalyze food and nutrition security if effectively commercialized into a major export product.

“My administration will continue to seek collaboration with key stakeholders to boost potato farming and production in the state,” remarked Caleb Mutfwang, the Governor of Plateau State.

According to the governor, who was represented by the commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bugama Samson Ishaku, the state provides a conducive environment for potato cultivation, and it is crucial that the strategy is effectively implemented.

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