FMARD Permanent Secretary Pledges Open Door Policy in the Ministry

…As ministry continues projects that will boost agriculture in Kano State

The newly appointed Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Mr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, has promised to operate with an “open-door policy” in running the affairs of the ministry. Umakhihe took over from the sit-in Permanent Secretary, Hajia Karima Babangida, Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, at the end of 2020.

Umakhihe called for teamwork and cooperation between all the directors in the ministry towards achieving the diversification policy of President Muhammadu Buhari in the agricultural sector. He added that he wants to learn from all the directors and add value to the ministry.

The ministry has the mandate to ensure food security and create employment opportunities for youth in the nation. Mrs. Karima Babangida, speaking on behalf of the directors, pledged the loyalty and commitment of the directors and the staff of the ministry to obtaining these goals.

In another development, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, has inspected some ongoing projects when completed would help the farmers and the federal government boost the agricultural value chain in Kano State. The projects were awarded in late 2020 and are being supervised by the Department of Rural Development. Some of them include the construction of asphalt roads, concrete drainage and slabs at three different locations in the state.

According to Nanono, these projects would provide access to farmers, connect rural towns, link local economies, and ease transportation. The projects, upon completion, would also help connect rice and all-season farmers in Indabo to both Garko and Wudil markets. One of the challenges farmers have across Nigeria is the ease of transportation because of bad roads and lack of access and link roads to aid movement of agricultural produce. As a result, goods are damaged or spoilt before they reach the consumers, and prices are increased, making food expensive.

The minister advised the state government, local government and traditional rulers to collaborate to take ownership of the new facilities and ensure proper maintenance.

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