Nanono assures stronger relations with Agric correspondents


By Nneka Nwogwugwu

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono has assured Agriculture correspondents of improved media relations.

Nanono also assured that the Ministry will mobilize press corps that will oversee information circulation to the public.

The minister made these assurances during a media parley with selected media correspondents/editors on Saturday in Abuja.

Nanono who was responding to the submissions made by the correspondents, also assured that the correspondents, henceforth will be fully engaged in activities that concern the Ministry both at the departmental level.

He informed that the Ministry will soon commence a project, which is to produce a documentary on dry season farming, stating that the services of the press corps will be fully utilized for the project.

In his opening address, Nanono noted that his mandate as an Agric minister under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, has been to implement Agricultural Mechanization aimed at massive cultivation and massive output with more than enough to feed the population and export to neighboring countries.

He reiterated his efforts to deepen extension services to grow the agricultural sector and make farming an informed profession.

“ I flagged off the pilot scheme of the National Livestock Breed Improvement Initiative aimed at increasing the diary potentials of our indigenous diary cows and meat yield of our national herd.

“The livestock sector has a huge economic potential netting N33 trillion which should be explored and harnessed,” he said.

Among notable achievements recorded in his administration include: Launching a compact and viable livestock subsector capable of sustaining the supply of beef and dairy demands of the nation for consumption, processing industry and export, launching the National fertilizer Quality Control Act 2019 signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on 12th March, 2020 to regulate the production of high quality standard Fertilizer for farmers.

Others also include; distribution of farm inputs to the Northern region, distribution of 70,000 Metric Tonnes of assorted grains to vulnerable Nigerians as palliatives on the directive of Mr. President.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe in his remarks, pledged that his administration will give room for better media relations, adding that “he is media-friendly.”

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He urged for the cooperation of journalists to make the mandate of the Minister realisable, proposing that the media parley should be held quarterly.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Agriculture Correspondents Association of Nigeria, (ACAN), Mr John Oba, thanked the Ministry for organising the parley.

Oba urged the minister as well as the directors to engage journalists while initiating a project.

He said, “This is quite impressive, because this is one of the opportunities we have to exchange ideas.

“We came together as journalists to form this association after seeing good agricultural projects in other countries, with the intention to promote and develop this sector.

“Most Nigerians don’t know what the Ministry is doing because the ministry is not engaging strategic reporters.

“There are ways you report issues different from government press statements. Journalists need to go the site and analyse issues.

“The parastatals are also not helping us because when you meet them, they decline or request for permission from the ministry.

“This won’t help us because we are Nigerians and we intend to promote what you are doing.

“If we as journalists covering Agriculture don’t know what the sector is doing, that means that the public may not know many opportunities.

“We advise both directors and the Minister to take advantage of this because the ministry has a lot to let the public know.”

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