It is interesting to note that Nigeria has penciled down 15 million farmers that would benefit from its Growth Enhancement Support (GES) Scheme in 2014.According to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, an additional 400,000 farmers would be empowered to engage in this year’s dry season rice production.
This figure is against the 700,000 that indicated interest to be part of the dry season rice production.
In 2013, a total of 240,000 farmers were empowered for the dry season rice production.
The minister disclosed that government might consider more farmers during the season.
Mr. Adesina said that government has devised new means that would enable farmers’ redeem inputs provided under the scheme.
“An off-line system through the use of paper voucher has been adopted to tackle the problem of poor GSM network, which had affected redemption of inputs by farmers in the past,” he said.
He noted that the scheme was designed to accommodate additional five million beneficiaries every year.
Adesina also said the initial reluctance of commercial banks to finance the GES had been addressed, even as he said 14 commercial banks were involved towards the end of 2013.
The minister added that large scale millers have been milling paddy rice produced by farmers at the end of the dry season farming period.
Tweets from the Minister
This is a good step in the right direction, i was a beneficiary of the growth enhancement support (GES) of the Ministry of Agriculture in 2013. Agriculture is working in Nigeria however other sectors like power generation should be intensified in order to promote the growth of Agricultural processing industries that will create indirect employment from Agriculture to several youth across the country. What do you think (please comment below)!