November 25, 2020

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Ministry pledges to ensure food security

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By Nsa Gill, Calabar

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has assured Nigerians that the country would not experience any food shortage crises in the coming year arising from the fall-out of COVID 19 pandemic.

The assurance was given in Calabar on Wednesday during a one-day stakeholders’ workshop on adoption and utilisation of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) for South-South region.

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Giving a keynote address at the event, the Director of the Federal Department of Agriculture, Mrs. Karima Babangida, said: “It has come to the knowledge of the ministry, the immense wealth and health benefits in potato production, especially Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP), and as such, the ministry is willing to explore these opportunities within the value chain in furtherance to achieving food and nutrition security for our beloved country.

“The primary objective of convening this stakeholders’ workshop is to create a forum for the stakeholders in the potato value chain to chart a way forward for the realisation of the fullest potentials locked up in potato production, processing and marketing.”

Also speaking, Head of the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Dr. Solomon Afuape said cultivating OFSP was fast and could give a farmer 10 tonnes of produce from one hectare of farmland.