The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has flagged-off the Nationwide Distribution of 40, 000 Metric Tons of Assorted Grains to Displaced /Vulnerable Nigerians and Women Groups, stating that it would cushion the effects of the high cost of food commodities, ensure food and nutrition security and alleviate poverty.
Speaking at the Internally Displaced Persons Camp (IDP) at Kamarjigi, Airport Road, Abuja, the Minister disclosed that the distribution exercise was based on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to serve as palliative for the people In the spirit of the Easter celebration, the Ramadan and the upcoming Sallah celebrations, adding that the exercise will be replicated across the country.
Dr. Mahmood Abubakar stated that ‘’ the incessant banditry attacks have displaced many farming communities in some States, disrupted their source of livelihood and rendered them homeless of which some are currently taking shelter around the schools, mosques and churches’’.
He added that ‘’ many of these households are in dire need of food assistance to ameliorate their sufferings as they are facing untold hardship and food scarcity’’.
The Minister informed that ‘’ as part of the Federal Government of Nigeria effort to ensure food security and alleviate poverty, President, Muhammad Buhari has approved the release of 40,000MT of assorted food commodities from the National Strategic Reserve to the vulnerable Nigerians to cushion the effects of rising prices of food items’’.
He emphasized that ‘’ political commitment is absolutely fundamental for addressing the food security challenge, but it is not the complete answer. Strengthening food systems and chains is a shared responsibility. Governments, industry and consumers all have a vital role and must work together to ensure farm to the table food security’’.
In his welcome address, the Director, Department of Strategic Grains Reserve Engr. Sule Haruna, said that the distribution exercise was symbolic because it is in line with the department’s core mandate of maintaining a strategic grain reserve that would serve as buffer to food challenge in the country.
In his Goodwill Message, the District Head of Kamarjigi, Alhaji Yunusa Bako, appreciated the Federal Government under the able leadership of President Mohammadu Buhari for coming to the aid of the Internally Displaced Persons especially the women and the Youth.
In a related event, the Minister was at the Headquarters of the Women Affairs Ministry to also perform the symbolic distribution of the assorted grains to representatives of the various women groups as part of the emergency nationwide exercise.
In her remarks, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, appreciated Mr President’s gesture and appealed to the women groups to make judicious use of the assorted grains for the nutritional needs of their families.
Beneficiaries of the palliatives including: the leader of the Displaced Persons at Karmajigi , Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, representative of the Federation of Muslims Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) and representatives of the Catholic Women Organizations of Nigeria (CWO),thanked the President for his benevolence to the less privileged in the country.