Dr Abdulkadir Mu’azu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, says Federal Government is committed to ensuring food security and price stability in the country.
Mu’azu said while inspecting 25,000 metric tonnes capacity Grains Reserve in Dutsinma Katsina State.
Mu’azu, at the reserve which has 10 silos of 2,500 capacity each, said government was committed to functional grains reserves because they were critical to price stability, food security and response to emergencies.
He added that government was committed to ensuring that the 33 strategic grains reserves across the country were in good condition and with required quantity of grains.
He noted that though government had concession some of the reserves, it would continue to ensure that Nigeria had adequate reserve to meet up with its soaring population.
“We have one of the fastest population growth. We have about 200 million people and in the next three years we will be far more than that.
“So you can see the strategic significance of ensuring that we strive to achieve food security,” he said.
The permanent secretary stressed that agriculture was one of government’s main focus because it was a catalyst for employment generation, poverty reduction and overall economic development.
”The ministry is committed to ensuring that these silos are not only in good condition but effectively managed.
“It is also important to note that the food is safe and fit for consumption because a country that cannot effectively feed itself is a country in crisis.
“So the essence of this visit is to have a look at the silos and discuss with those on ground to ensure that we stabilise prices and ensure transparency.”
He assured farmers in Katsina State and farmers across the country of government’s commitment to provide farm implements and other forms of support.
He encouraged them to take advantage of the ongoing mechanisation project to boost production.
Mr Sule Haruna, Director, Grains Reserve, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed that the Dutsin-Ma reserve, had 16,000 metric tonnes of maize and sorghum currently stored.
He disclosed that the facility was fully automated to ensure transparency, accountability and effective delivery.
Speaking on operational modality of the facility, Haruna said, “what we do in terms of operational modality, we take samples that are being analysed in the laboratory to ensure that they meet all the given standards.
“The standards include the moisture content, impurity content and insect infestation among others.
“Having done that, we allow the truck to come on the weigh bridge and the gross weight will be taken. Then the grains is discharged.
“Thereafter the debris, truck and sacks are weighed, their weight deducted from the gross weight to get the net weight and it is the net weight that the Federal Government pays for.”
The director disclosed that the Dutsin-Ma reserve, was a second generation reserve.