Editor - Emeka Ike
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday restated commitment of the Zero Hunger Strategic Initiative to end hunger and achieve food security by year 2030.The former president made this known on Thursday at the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Forum Meeting in Sokoto State.Obasanjo said that initiative, which would spread across the 36 states and Abuja, would work to improve food security through the promotion of sustainable agriculture.“It is essentially also to bring us closer to a zero hunger world, rapid economic growth and increase agricultural productivity.“At the moment, we are targeting six states. They are Sokoto, Kebbi, Borno, Ogun, Ebonyi and Benue.
“We are working substantially with our various development partners together to succeed on our target of ending hunger and poverty across the entire country,” he said.Obasanjo said that the forum would support, encourage and monitor progress in the six states, adding that the governors of the states had agreed to implement the Zero Hunger Roadmap.“I feel highly honoured to be here in the ancient city of Sokoto, the Seat of the Caliphate.” he saidIn his remarks the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar said agriculture remained the mainstay of the economy.“For the people of Sokoto state, especially our ancestors had laid for us a solid foundation on which sustainable development could have been engineered.“Unfortunately, however, farming culture and all associated fortunes were thrown away as a result of the oil boom,” he said.Abubakar said that the forum would no doubt serve as impetus which would embolden the government in its desire to implement the agriculture policies.Sultan said that in January 2017, history was made when the Federal Government took the initiative by launching the Strategic Plan.“The plan was tagged: “Synthesis Report of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Strategic Review’ and the effort is to end hunger and achieve food security by the year 2030.Gov. Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal of of Sokoto state, said that strategic plans and programmes had been formulated over the years with an ardent focus on achieving Zero Hunger by 2030.Tambuwal said that successive governments had made several attempts to reorient the people and to ensure the restoration of farming values, but very little successes had been recorded.“I sincerely believe that with proper commitment and careful planning, the aspirations could be realised; and our state could excel and become a food basket for the nation.“Therefore, as responsive communities, we are determined to channel our human and material resources in the most productive ways, particularly through the development of agriculture.“Every citizen of our dear nation has the civic responsibility of advancing the course of its development.“All hands must therefore be on deck to plan and realise our Zero Hunger desire as outlined by our Zero Hunger Strategic Initiative,” he said.Alhaji Bashir Garba, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee of the event, said that the Sokoto State Government under the able leadership of Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal had executed considerable number of projects to boost agriculture in the State.Garba, who is also the Secretary to the State Government, said that this ranged from the procurement, distribution of farming implements, assorted fertilisers to chemicals.