FG taking proactive steps to safeguard farmers, investors in agric sector -- Minister


 The Federal Government says it has taken proactive steps towards ensuring the safety of farmers and investors in the agricultural sector.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, stated this on Monday in Abuja at the inauguration of a two million dollars U.S. Government/Private Partnership towards strengthening Nigeria`s agricultural sector.
Ogbeh said plans were underway to engage the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to provide security for the nation`s big-time farmers and investors in agriculture.

``We have challenges; it is a matter of joy USAID continues to partner with us, to support us.
``We are looking forward to more intensive partnership; we are looking forward to investors, local and foreign and we want to say that we are aware of the new security challenges we face naturally.
``We have to anticipate that investors whether they are Nigerians or foreigners, we require security to protect them.”

Ogbeh stated that unlike in Nigeria, farmers in other parts of the world live and work on their farms.
He said government was ready to encourage farmers to live on their farms through the provision of adequate security.
``We want farmers to live on their farms and since they are going to live on their farm there is a new design of security arrangement.
``We are making arrangement with the ministry of interior using the civil defense to protect big time investors in agriculture.
``We want to protect the investment against internal insecurity and external aggression by either kidnappers or mid night harvesters or rustlers.’’
Ogbe said that the Federal Government was working at preventing the movement of cattle-herdsmen from place to place in search of grazing.
He said ranches would be provided for herdsmen before the end of the year.
The minister also hinted that arrangement has been concluded to build more dams across the country to enhance irrigation farming.

``We have the weather, we have the water, and we are going to build more dams.
``There is a programme we are launching called operation 10:37, building 10 earth dams in all the 36 states plus the FCT in the next four years.
``Let there be water so we can turn our backs on rainfall whether it rains or it doesn’t, we must produce food.
``It doesn’t rain in Israel maybe five rains a year, but Israel is a strong force in agriculture.’’

He said that Nigeria could also achieve the feat with the implementation of the project

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