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Farming In Rice, Maize, Sorghum, Cowpea, Others To Benefit From Fg’s Afjp

Nigeria Student Forum / General Discussion / Farming In Rice, Maize, Sorghum, Cowpea, Others To Benefit From Fg’s Afjp

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Sani Ibrahim
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa,University
Agricultural economics and extension
100Level, Nigeria.
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The Federal Government has launched a 12 month
agriculture-focused intervention scheme through the Agric for
Food and Job Plan (AFJP) which is aimed at increasing food
production and creating jobs
The scheme which will target crops and livestock such as rice,
Maize, Sorghum, soybeans, Groundnuts, Cowpea, Cassava,
millet, livestock, horticulture, palm kernel, and cotton for the
local market, will target white sesame seeds, hibiscus, cocoa,
hides and skin, horns and hoofs are targeted for the export
market.
Andrew Kwasari, Senior Special Assistant to the President on
Agriculture, during the launch of AFJP programme, said that
the impact of COVID-19 on the agriculture sector which has
led to heightened panic, restrictions and lack of access to
credit facilities especially for the small holder farmers has
necessitated the for the plan.
He said that AFJP was developed plans to mitigate the impact
of the COVID-19 pandemic on local food production and
would among others, increase agricultural productivity, create
job opportunities in the sector, strengthen Nigeria’s food
supply chain, and help the economy recover speedily.
Kwasari stated that the project will be a joint venture between
the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,
state governments, as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN), and private sector via out-grower schemes and farmers
across the country.
He added that it is aimed at boosting locally-grown food
supply, while simultaneously creating employment
opportunities in the agricultural sector, stressing that this will
be achieved through investment in the sector through the
provision of zero-interest input financing options such as
fertilizers and seeds to farmers across the 36 states in Nigeria
and the FCT, to produce a harvest that can sell domestically
and internationally.
According to him, “the project aim at providing zero interest
finance to smallholder farmers, link farmers to markets for off-
market throughout grower schemes as well as enhance land
productivity through good agronomic practices”.
“A vital sector affected by the virus is the Agricultural sector,
with panic, restriction and lack of access to funding and
relevant input impeding the farming process”.
“To this end, the Federal Government in collaboration with the
State Governments through the federal ministry of Agriculture
is set to launch a revolutionary agric-focused intervention
scheme in the form of the Agric for Food and Jobs Plan”.
Speaking further, he said that the programme would be run for
a duration of 12 months with an aggregate of two million
hectares of land to produce 10 million metric tonnes of food
including; carbohydrate, animal protein, and edible oil, saying
this would be implemented In collaboration with the N-Power
Scheme – a part of the Federal Government’s Social
Intervention Programme.
He added that trained enumerators have been sent out to
identify farmers and their farms to ensure proper targeting of
beneficiaries and after completion of the identification and
registration phase, farmers under the evidence-based
database would be able to access input financing facilities to
carry on their 2020 wet season farming. They will also have a
guaranteed market in the form of assigned off-takers.
According to him, the project differs from the Anchor
Borrowers Scheme which was launched by the Central Bank of
Nigeria.
Oba Dokun Thompson, the Oloni of Eti-Oni and the Chairman
of Eti-Oni Development Group, in his view stated that over the
last few years, the nation have had serious security issues and
challenges across the country and that experts have also
predicted the negative impact this will have on food
production, availability and supply in the immediate future.
“This combined with the recent COVID-19 and its attendant
disruption of global economic activities, the Nigerian farmers,
most being small holder farmers have also not been spared
with little or no capacity for storage facilities or value addition
capabilities to boost earnings or increase the life span of their
produce before consumption,”
Oba Thompson, who is an international cocoa trader, said that
the CBN intervention is timely and will not only restore the
confidence in the agric sector, but also help revive morale of
farmers.
He said the initiative would possibly help address some of the
security issues around lives and properties which can lead to
food security and economic development because lack of
funding is a major challenge in the agric sector.
Oba Thompson said that the nation need home grown
solutions and as much as local funding as possible if the
nation is ready to develop its agriculture sector.

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