FG Begins Distribution of Farm Input to Farmers in Northwest

Federal Government of Nigeria agriculture
Farm inputs
In a bid to boost Food and Nutrition Security, attract private sector investment, reduce post-harvest losses, as well as add value to local agriculture produce, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development via the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agropocket (NAGS-AP) has commenced the distribution of subsidized farm inputs to small holder farmers across the North Western States.

Speaking during the flag-off ceremony held at Bunkure Local Government Area, Kano State, recently, the Executive Governor of Kano State Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf stated that NAGS-AP was being implemented through the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase One (ATASP-1) of the Federal Government of Nigeria funded by African Development Bank as a Pilot phase to pave way for successful implementation of the forthcoming Policy Based Operation.

The Governor who was represented by his Deputy Governor, Comrade Aminu Abdussalem pointed out that, “Policy Based Operation (PBO) was a Sector Budget Support (SBS) operation prepared under the African Emergency Food Production Facility (AEFPF) funded through a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to be Implemented across the 36 states of the Federation and FCT for a period of two years beginning from 2023.”

He added that the objective of NAGS-AP was synonymous with the objectives of ATASP-1 to include; ensuring attainment of food and nutrition security, contribute to employment generation and wealth creation of the targeted beneficiaries along rice, sorghum and cassava value chains on sustainable basis, attract private sector investments in agriculture.

He revealed that the benefiting communities are from Bunkere Rano, Bagwai, Dawakin Kudu, Bebeji and Garun Malam Local Government Areas of the State.

In his keynote address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe represented by the Director, Projects Coordination Unit Department (PCU), Mr. Bukar Musa stated that the event was very important for the Ministry as it would drive to boost agricultural production and guarantee access to quality agricultural inputs such as fertilizer, seeds, pesticides whose distribution is being flagged off.

He pointed out that, “the program is targeted at supporting 60,000 farmers in the five ATASP-1 5 States with highly subsidized inputs to help increase their production level and achieve economic well-being, while also contributing substantially to the national agricultural product output.”

He noted that, “Government is committed to paying 80% of the total cost of the input package, while each participating farmer is expected to pay the 20% balance for the redemption of his/her inputs at the Redemption Centre”.

Dr. Umakhihe added that, “In order to increase the level of transparency, accountability and efficiency in the input delivery process, the Government this year approved the introduction and use of ICT platform for delivery of the inputs to farmers, making this year’s program a very notable one.”

He revealed that Farmers had been interfaced with and Helpline Staff who will man the Platform had also been sufficiently trained and Supervisors of the inputs delivery activities at the Redemption Centers had also been appointed and engaged.

He added that, “The ICT platform, known as the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro-Pocket (NAGS & AP), will therefore be used by the government for the delivery of the inputs to farmers in this exercise and in the future.”

He therefore urged the benefitting farmers to ensure full utilization of the inputs in their various farms in order to increase their farm output which will translate into increased farm income and encourage all the players to resist any temptation of inputs round-tripping, as anyone caught doing so will be treated in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Earlier in his remarks, the National Programme Coordinator, ATAPS 1, Dr. Ibrahim .M. Arabi, stated that the Global challenges of Covid-19, insecurity as well as food insecurity had informed the Government to restructure ATASP-1 to provide an initial funding for the implementation of NAGS-AP with the primary objective of improving production and productivity of staple food crops to mitigate the food insecurity situation of the Nation.

He added that, “the program has been able to record tremendous progress in the past years of its operation such as, Construction of social and economic infrastructure - primary schools, community health centers, boreholes and hand pumps, VIP latrines, community markets among others.

He reiterated that, “NAGS-AP will be implemented in five states namely Niger State, Kano State, Jigawa State, Sokoto State as well as Kebbi state noting that the crops being promoted are Rice, Sorghum, and Maize.

Highlight of the Event was the Symbolic Flag Off of Distribution of Farm inputs to Small Holders Farmers by the Executive Governor of Kano State.

In attendance was the Kano State Commissioner of Agriculture, Traditional Rulers and other Relevant Stakeholders like All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Fertilizer Producers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), Nigerian Agro Input Dealers Association (NAIDA)

Category: World-News
Tag: Federal Government of Nigeria agriculture
Written by Omooba Alekuwodo (omoobaalekuwodo)
Published 8/2/2023 12:51:10 PM

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