FG sets up task force to end pest infestations, boost food security

Kunle Sanni

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, has inaugurated the National Ginger Epidemic Control Taskforce to put an end to effects of pest and disease in the production of ginger, enhance production as well as achieve food and nutrition security

The announcement follows the declaration of a state of emergency on Agriculture and Food security by President Bola Tinubu.

Speaking during the inauguration of the National Ginger Epidemic Control Taskforce held at the Ministry’s Conference Room, Abuja, the Minister, who was represented by the Minister of State, Agriculture and Food Security, Aliyu Abdullahi revealed that ginger farmers in Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna and Abuja had been greatly affected by the impact of pest and disease epidemic.

Kyari reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government to revitalize the ginger sub sector and reinforce Nigeria’s position as a leading ginger producer in line with President Bola Tinubu’s administration agenda in the Agriculture Sector.

He stated that the ministry would support the affected farmers by seeking solutions to prevent future outbreak through investment in research and development spearheaded by the National Root Crops Research Institute and improve the agricultural extension services.

The Minister further revealed that there is a provision of N1.6billion recovery package through the National Agriculture Development Fund (NADFund) and establishment of a 20 hectares site for clean ginger seed cultivation.

He appealed to Nigerian farmers to avoid importation of seeds without going through the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), to forestall importation of crop diseases into the country.

The Minister urged the committee to investigate, apply adequate preventive and corrective measures to address the epidemic as well as reinvigorate ginger value chain. He added that there is a rising demand for Nigeria’s ginger in the International market and this would lead to economic growth for the country.

Responding on behalf of the Taskforce, the Chairman of the Taskforce and Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Abubakar Abdullahi, pledged that the committee would work assiduously to achieve its mandate and reposition the ginger value chain. 

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