From: Adeshola Bademosi, Abuja
A Bill to establish the National Food Reserve Agency has scaled the second reading at the Senate.
The Bill, designed to avert any form of future emergency food crisis was sponsored by Sen. Abdullahi Adamu (APC Nasarawa -West).
After scaling second reading, the Senate President Sen. Ahmed Lawan referred it to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, for further legislative input.
The committee, Chaired by Adamu, is expected to report back to the plenary in four weeks.
Speaking on the Bill, Adamu had argued that the agency if established would be responsible for storing food grains and other food commodities for strategic purposes.
While stressing the need for diversification of the Nigerian economy, he said priority should be given to agriculture.
“Agriculture plays a pivotal role in the development and growth of every nation. Any country seeking to diversify its economy, alleviate poverty, create jobs and ensure food security should prioritise agriculture,” he said.
“Nigeria, recognising the important role Agriculture plays, has made efforts to place the sector at the fore by introducing different intervention programmes and policies backed by enabling laws.”
He said for the country to ensure food security, there is need to formulate enabling laws to this effect.
“There will also be a reduction in post-harvest losses as silos, warehouses, equipment, ancillary facilities and other suitable storage facilities will be installed and maintained,” Adamu added.
The lawmaker further called attention to the recent directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to distribute 70,000 metric tons of grains from the grains reserves to cushion effects of COVID-19 pandemic adding that this is a pointer to the importance of the agency.