Saturday, June 23, 2012

FG to Boost Young Farmers with N37 Billion

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, would release N1 billion to each of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, to boost young farmers lacking fund to pursue their vision.

The minister at the unveiling of YES-O Agric Extension Agents and official launching of Growth Enhancement Support (GES) Scheme Roll-Out of Agricultural Inputs (Fertilizers and Seeds) at Ilora Farm Settlement, Ilora in Afijio local government area of Oyo State pointed out that the gesture was part of the efforts of the present administration to boost food production in the country in tandem with the government’s agricultural transformation agenda and help the growth of the younger generation in agricultural business.

Adesina lamented that Nigeria had lost her glory due to abandonment of agriculture, and assured that the current administration "is out to halt the trend by aggressive and determined policies that are at variant with the past practices, part of which is the elimination of middlemen in the distribution chain of farm inputs, especially fertilizer."

He recalled that the country spends an average of N365million annually on rice importation and N635billion on wheat and insisted that it was the determination of the current administration to change the status of Nigeria from being a dumping site for cheap food to that of exporting country as she used to be in the past before the discovery of oil.

He commended the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi for being among the frontline governors partnering with the Federal Government on agricultural transformation agenda and promised that his Ministry would at all times be ready to give a helping hand as much as the state may request.

The Minister reiterated that as far as he is concerned, "there is no politics in agriculture, the only one I know of and which I’m concerned about is democracy of stomach which is the right of everybody".

The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Abimbola Kolade at the event, disclosed that a total of 141 of the 500 YES-O cadets under the Agricultural Extension Programme were posted to local government councils across the state.

He hinted that under the state agriculture financing scheme, some peasant farmers benefited from the loan scheme by the Agricultural Credit Corporation and the Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme, adding, "2,540 small scale farmers would benefit N224.8m under the scheme".  

Source: Thisday