The Federal Government says it has commenced the distribution of subsidised farm inputs to small holder farmers across the North Western States of the country.
This was contained in a statement by Mrs Mabel Obe, Principal Information Officer, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Tuesday in Abuja.
She said the distribution was carried out by the ministry through the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agropocket (NAGS-AP).
Obe said the initiative would boost food and nutrition security, attract private sector investment, reduce post-harvest losses, as well as add value to local agriculture produce.
She said that Gov. Abba Yusuf of Kano State who spoke at the event in Bunkure Local Government Area, Kano, said that the scheme was being implemented through the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme Phase One (ATASP-1) of the Federal Government.
He said ATASP-1 was funded by African Development Bank as a Pilot phase to pave the way for successful implementation of the forthcoming Policy Based Operation.
”The Policy Based Operation (PBO) was a Sector Budget Support (SBS) operation prepared under the African Emergency Food Production Facility (AEFPF).
“It is 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 said.
The governor who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Aminu Abdussalem, said that the objective of NAGS-AP was synonymous with the objectives of ATASP-1.
Yusuf said that the benefiting communities included, Bunkere Rano, Bagwai, Dawakin Kudu, Bebeji and Garun Malam Local Government Areas of the State.
In an address, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, who was represented by the Director, Projects Coordination Unit Department (PCU), Mr Bukar Musa, said that the event would boost agricultural production and guarantee access to quality agricultural inputs.
He said that the programme was targeted at supporting 60,000 farmers in the five ATASP-1 5 States with highly subsidized inputs to help increase their production level.
” The programme 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.
“Government is committed to paying 80 per cent of the total cost of the input package, while each participating farmer is expected to pay the 20 per cent balance for the redemption of his/her inputs at the Redemption Centre.