Federal Executive Council in recent Meeting in the Council Chambers, State House, Abuja. Photo: FMCDE

Food Security: Nigeria set to secure €995m equipment for farmers

* Programme part of facility to attain food security, job creation, economic diversification ─ Presidential Aide 

* It’s expected to create 5m jobs, 35m nutritional and economic impacts on citizenry

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
In view of the strategic importance of food security and economic diversification amid the current novel Coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Federal Government is to secure €995million worth of agricultural equipment for the Nigerian farmers.

It was gathered that the agricultural technologies comprising tractors and other machines would be leased out to farmers.

Report says Dr. Andrew Kwasari, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari on Agriculture, disclosed this to a business intelligence magazine, The Commerce Africa, in Abuja, that the agricultural machines would come from Brazil, in South America.

Dr. Andrew Kwasari stated that the agricultural machines “will set the basic foundation across 632 Local Government Areas (LGAs) for proper agricultural service” in Nigeria.

This arrangement is said to be part of the in-kind facility for agricultural mechanisation to develop agricultural mechanisation as approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), in Abuja, FCT, recently.

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

According to Dr. Kwarasi, the machines will be leased to the farmers “for fee operations by privately managed service centres in a competitive manner.”

Dr. Kwasari said: “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.”

On processing plants, Kwasari stated: “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 LGAs.

“This design logic is meant to prioritise tackling of the primary issues of post-harvest losses commonly suffered by smallholder farmers and also, to domesticate efficient supply chain operations where factories or aggregation hubs are closer to sources of raw material as well as strengthen quality and standards control for out grower scheme.”

Kwasari explained that the programme has five years’ funded capacity development for all stakeholders in respect of job creation, training and technological skill transfer.

“Tailor-made to cater for the needs of private operators of the service centres, farmers, extension workers, regulatory and research institutions among others,” said he.

These plans, he added, are deliberate and focused in order to achieve economic handshakes along the various nodes of the interconnected agricultural value chains in the country.

When the programme takes off fully, the SSA to President Buhari on Agriculture disclosed that it is expected to “create at least 5 million jobs and 35million nutritional and economic impacts on Nigerians.”

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