As Nigeria joins other nations to celebrate the World Food Day (WFD), the federal government has said 6.5 million farmers have benefi ted from 25% input subsidy for fertiliser under the Growth Enhancement Scheme( GES).
Th e Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh made the revelation while briefi ng newsmen at the 2017 World Food Celebration, press briefi ng in Abuja.
According to Chief Ogbeh” Following the implementation of the Green Alternative Policy ,the Ministry under our watch have Provided 25% input subsidy contributions to 6.5 million farmers under the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme for private managed fertiliser supply for wet and dry season farming across the various commodity value chains.
He added that we have ” facilitated foundation and certifi ed seed production for staple crops, keyed into the Anchor Borrowers scheme involving the CBN, NIRSAL, FMARD, State Governments, miller’s and others to facilitate a link between farmers and processors” Chief Ogbeh also said the Ministry had ” Strengthened afl otaxin detection capacity with the purchase of a set of laboratory equipment,developed a soil fertility map and site crops specifi c fertiliser formulation for the 36 states and FCT to aid appropriate aid crop production and maximise yield in every locality” He added that “the establishment of national aquaculture certifi cation centre, distributed over 200 smoking kilns to selected fi sh markers and secured 55,000 hectares from 11 states as part of the 5000 hectares each expected from the 19 Northern states for the development of pasture/ paddocks grazing reserve” Chief Ogbeh assured that in an eff ort to ensure self suffi ciency in rice production the Ministry fl agged off the distribution of 500 threshers to rice farmers from 12 rice producing states including Ebonyi, Enugu, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, Benue and Taraba at 60% discount to farmers who would pay 20% while state governments bare 20% of the cost” ” In a bid to drive agriculture as a business, the Ministry had fast tracked the implementation of the 18 Nos Agro industrial estates,9 Nos farmers markets and 80nos.
One stop shop input center projects located across the 6 geopolitical zones” he further added.
Speaking earlier, United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (UN/FAO) Country Representative, Mr Suff yan Koroma said the “WFD is a chance to showcase development to achieving SDGS Goal 2 to achieving Zero hunger by 2030 by promoting worldwide awareness and action for those who suff er hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diet for the world”