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Senate Wants 10% Of Annual Budget Revenue To Go Towards Production In Agriculture

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The Senate, on Monday, urged the Executive arm of government to ensure the allocation of at least 10 per cent of total annual budget revenue to agricultural production.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture Production, Services and Rural Development, Senator Saliu Mustapha (APC-Kwara) made the call in Abuja, during the joint budget defence session of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

Senator Mustapha said that Senate and the House Committees on Agriculture Production, Services and Rural Development were concerned about the challenges facing the agricultural sector in Nigeria.

He however, said that despite the challenges, the sector remained the largest contributor to the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from non-oil sector with over 20 per cent.

The lawmaker lamented that the budget allocation to the sector remained a far cry from the 10 per cent of the nation’s budget in accordance with the Maputo declaration, to which Nigeria has committed to.

“The agricultural sector has the largest potential to lead millions of Nigerians out of poverty and provide the much-needed food security. It is therefore imperative that the sector should be given the utmost priority in national economic policies and future budgets. I therefore call on the executive to exercise the political will to allocate at least 10 per cent of the national budgets and revenues to the agriculture sector,” he said.

He said both chambers of the 10th Assembly had demonstrated readiness and commitment to work together, in order to pass the 2024 Budget in good and desirable time.

The lawmaker commended the effort of President Bola Tinubu and the Executive for its desire, to revert to January to December budget cycle, saying that this would enable the Federal Government to provide the laudable objectives of physical infrastructure and socioeconomic services to our people.

“By this commendable effort, both the public and the private sectors will benefit from a budget cycle that is not only reliable but also predictable for planning and execution of their fiscal and financial policies and programmes”he said.

He assured of the Committee’s willingness and commitment to treat the budget process with sense of urgency and responsibility it deserves.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, in his speech, listed the Ministry’s achievement in 2023 to include procurement and distribution of 324,718 kilograms of certified maize seeds to farmers clusters in the six geo-political zones of the country.

Senator Kyari said that the Ministry distributed 2,300 tomatoe production, pests and diseases management packs to 2,300 resourced poor smallholder tomato farmers in 10 tomato producing states affected by Tuta Absoluta in 2022 dry season production.

He listed the states to include Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Borno, Gombe, Bauchi, Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue, also listing the establishment of Rubber Rural Resource Centres (RRRC) with processing technology with a capacity of 1.85 including installation and training of farmers clusters in Ogun state.

“Procured 3,000,000 doses of Anthrax Spore Vaccine for the prevention and control of Anthrax in Nigeria, conducted disease surveillance and investigation for trans-boundary animals and zoonotic diseases such as Anthrax, Avian Influenza, Rabies, Bovine Tuberculosis and African swine fever,” Senator Kyari said.

He said the Ministry registered over 2,351 fertilizer operators across the country using the National Fertilizer Management e-portal platform which generated direct and indirect employment over the years.

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