2.4 million farmers will get N600 billion in assistance from the Federal Government as part of the Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS).
“Our Actions are our Future,” President Muhammadu Buhari said at Wednesday’s opening of the National Agricultural Show/Exhibition for World Food Day 2021 in Abuja. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life,” according to NAN.
The President, who was represented by Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar, declared that the government was doing everything possible to address the difficulties affecting the country’s agricultural sector.
The President said,
“The Federal Government, through the Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS), has set aside N600 billion as loan support to farmers across the country.
“No fewer than 2.4 million farmers are expected to benefit from the loan which has zero interest.
“The gesture will support farmers in the country to improve their productivity to boost the country’s food security, improve farmers’ production, and increase exports.
“It is gratifying that the sector is being treated as a business, no longer as a development project, with massive distribution of high-quality farm inputs, dissemination of appropriate research results, and significant enhancement of the agricultural commodity value chains.
“I would wish to reiterate and it is clear that if the agricultural sector must be made more productive and food systems sustainable, we must all be prepared to invest massively in the sector and rise to the call against looming food crisis as predicted by the World Bank, FAO, AfDB and other key actors in food and agriculture.”
Buhari added that Nigeria recorded a boost in her major staple crops, especially maize and rice, which rose from 12.8 and 12.3 to 13.94 and 14.28 million metric tonnes (MMT).
“The same is obtainable for cassava, whose production rose from 58.47 MT in 2018 to 73.91MT and is even projected to rise to 93.6 by 2023.
“Growth has also been recorded for groundnut, tomatoes, and sorghum production. Cattle beef, dairy, and fish production also rose by 166 percent, 146 percent, and 11 percent, respectively, between 2020 and 2021.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Bureau of Statistics report indicate that Nigeria’s national agricultural import bill also reduced from 1.2 to 1.1 billion Naira,” he said.