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FG speaks on 5million Agriculture programme

The Federal Government says it is targeting about five million jobs for farmers through the €995m agricultural mechanisation programme.

The initiative was aimed at boosting food security for the country.

Under the initiative, it added that facilities comprising tractors and other agricultural machinery were expected to be leased out to Nigerian farmers.

It stated that this was coming under the in-kind facility for agricultural mechanisation.

The in-kind facility, it added, was designed to help Nigeria attain food security, create jobs and diversify the economy from oil.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari, was quoted in a statement obtained on Sunday as saying the agricultural machines would come from Brazil.

He said when the programme took off fully, it would create at least five million jobs and 35 million nutritional effects and economic impact on Nigerians.

Kwasari said the agricultural machines from Brazil would set the basic foundation across 632 local government areas for proper agricultural service.

These machines, he added, would be leased out to the farmers for a fee, adding that the operations would be privately managed in a competitive manner.

He stated, “Services ranging from land preparation to harvest and storage will be provided timely and on-demand to all farmers in a move to enhance productivity of smallholder farmers that don’t need to own tractors and implements.

“Over 142 agro processing factories will be situated across all senatorial districts to create aggregation, intermediary and final processing of the increased farm outputs on the back of the 632 primary production supporting service centres in the respective LGs.

“This is meant to tackle the primary issues of post-harvest losses commonly suffered by smallholder farmers as well as to domesticate efficient supply chain operations where factories or aggregation hubs are closer to sources of raw material.”

On job creation, training and technological skill transfer, Kwasari explained that the programme was tailor-made to cater to the needs of private operators of the service centres, farmers, extension workers, regulatory and research institutions, among others.

He also disclosed that three years from now, Nigeria would be food secured for the various plant and livestock-related commodities identified to be supported by the programme across the states.

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