Temitope Fadeshemi, the Permanent Secretary at Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, has reported that a staggering 88.4 million Nigerians are currently grappling with extreme poverty.
Fadeshemi shared this information in Kaduna on Wednesday while overseeing the distribution of farm inputs and empowerment materials to 250 smallholder farmers.
Bashir Abdulkadir, the Director of the Department of Extension Services at the ministry, represented Fadeshemi during the event.
“The level of poverty in Nigeria is alarming. An estimated population of 88.4 million people in Nigeria is living in extreme poverty.
“The number of men living on less than 1.90 U.S. dollars a day in the country reached around 44.7 million, while the count was at 43.7 million for women.
“Overall, 12.9% of the global population in extreme poverty was found in Nigeria as of 2022.
“This is why the Federal government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning in collaboration with FMAFS is making conscious efforts at reducing the spate of poverty across the country.”
National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) Initiative
Continuing his remarks, Fadeshemi emphasized the transformative impact of the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS) initiative, describing it as a significant achievement in the Federal Government’s collective efforts to uplift smallholder farmers and promote sustainable agricultural methods.
Fadeshemi said that the programme was not merely an investment in agriculture; but an investment in the future of the nation.
“I am delighted to remind you that NPRGS, in collaboration with the Federal Department of Agricultural Extension Service (FDAE), has diligently enumerated and validated approximately 250 farmers for participation in this transformative programme.
”These farmers are not just the backbone of our agricultural sector; they are the heartbeat that forms the heartbeat of our nation’s prosperity.
”The NPRGS reflects our government’s dedication to addressing poverty at its roots, emphasizing the pivotal role agriculture plays in economic growth and development.
”Through initiatives like today’s training and empowerment programme, we are sowing the seeds of positive change, ensuring that smallholder farmers have the knowledge, resources, and support needed to thrive in an ever-evolving agricultural landscape,” he added.
On his part, Timkat Nanfa, the State Coordinator of the ministry expressed appreciation to the Federal Government for counting the state worthy to be part of the beneficiaries of the programme.
He urged the participants to make good use of the empowerment, saying inputs will help them in their farm operations and also fight poverty.
He listed the items as; 175 bags of organic fertilizers, 175 sprayers, 65 bags of maize seeds bags and 71 bags of rice seeds.
Others were: 14 tins of tomato seeds, 14 tins of pepper seeds, Okra seeds tins, 1,000 poultry chicks, 40 bags of poultry feeds and 50 bags of fish feeds, among others.
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Cyrus Ademola is a political and economy analyst with over half a decade experience in journalism, research-based oped, economic reportage and political analysis. His works have been featured on different media outlets, covering from politics to business trends, to crime and security as well as the real estate sector.