PRESS RELEASE



The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has reassured millions of Nigerian small scale farmers that are working towards the attainment of food security in Nigeria of the ministry’s support.

Speaking during the  on Food Safety stakeholders forum in continuation of the activities for the 2021 World Food Day Celebration with the theme: “Our Actions Are Our Future. Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life” held on 14/10/2021 at Sheraton Hotel in Abuja. Hon Baba Shehuri, said that the theme ‘’ is indeed apt against the background of exploring food system that should work for Nigeria with common focus”. 

Shehuri said that the objective of the celebration is to end hunger, malnutrition, poverty as well as ensuring that everyone at all times have physical and economic access to safe and Nutritious food.

He stated that the Food Safety Stakeholders Forum “is an innovation,   expected to deliver robust ideas that will be impactful as we move the sector collectively to ensure good quality food Supply, improve nutritional status and reduce hunger in the country”.

He expressed optimism that the Forum will proffer solution to the challenges of Nigeria’s Agricultural Commodities rejection by the European Union, adding  that the forum should also revolve around possible ways to improve global acceptance of the Agricultural Commodities for export without fear of rejection by the international communities.

The Minister reassured the Stakeholders that the resource persons and discussants that have been selected would do enough Justice on how to make the food safe for consumption and export.

In his presentation titled Food Safety Export to Market, Chief Executive Officers, Global Good Agricultural Practice (Global G.A.P), Captain John Okpaku said that ‘’the company is training Nigerian farmers on the best practice of Agro products for export to end rejection of Nigeria food aboard, standardization of made in Nigeria products, the introduction of farmers card for traceability and how to overcome the gaps in the Agro production and trade’’

Other papers presented included: Food Safety the Table End by Mrs Fabiyi Alice Olukemi from the Agriculture Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) and Food Fraud by Dr. Oyeleke Rasaq, Deputy Director in the Ministry, stressed the need for people to be careful and conscious of the choices they make on their food  consumption. 

In another event, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar presented awards to distinguished Nigerians for their outstanding contributions and performance in the development of Nigeria’s food and agriculture sector and in making food available to Nigerians.

Dr. Mahmood stated that it was necessary to acknowledge the efforts of those who have contributed immensely to the growth of the industry. ‘’ We deemed it necessary to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of distinguished Nigerians that have made remarkable contribution to the realization of these achievements recorded by the country. The achievements are a prelude to our journey of achieving ‘Zero Hunger” and becoming food secure nation, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)’’.

He said, ‘’ it is on record that Agriculture was the only sector in Nigeria that recorded marginal growth during the Covid-19 lock-down spanning through the 4th quarter of 2019 to 1st and 2nd quarter of year 2020, with an average contribution of 24.23% to the country’s GDP, (Statistic 1st/2nd Quarter Report, 2020). The impressive 2021 second quarter growth rate of 5.01% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) released on Thursday 19th August by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC) has agriculture (crop production) and food manufacturing as major contributors’’. 

The Minister pointed out that ‘’ the objective of the celebration is to promote worldwide effective action to end hunger, malnutrition, and poverty and ensuring that everyone at all times and place have physical and economic access to food’’.

He reiterated the focus of President Muhammad’s Buhari’s economic diversification agenda as the next alternative to oil for growth and development, ‘’to achieve that,  Mr. President said, “grow what we eat and eat what we grow”, Abubakar said

Recipients  of the award  include; Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Alhaji Muhammad Damakka, Otunba Dr. Gabriel Ogunsanaya, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, Dr. Graham Hefer, Alhaji Shehu Muazu , Mrs. Catherine Ezenyirieka ,the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Institute for Agricultural Research ,Zaria.


Juliet Okeh (Mrs)

Principal Information Officer

For: Director, Information (FMARD)