By Dipo Olowookere
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Muhammad Sabo Nanono, has disclosed that federal government was planning to establish service centres across the 774 local government areas of the federation to enable farmers have easy access to improved seeds and other farm inputs.
Mr Nanono, speaking during a town hall meeting with the All Farmers Associations of Nigeria (AFAN) and other relevant stakeholders in Kano over weekend, reiterated the commitment of the present administration to revolutionize the agricultural system with a deliberate plan to attract investors and set up assembly plants in Nigeria.
“We are planning to establish service centres across the 774 local government areas across Nigeria where farmers can access improved seed and other farm inputs.
“With the setting of the service centres, equipment will be sourced and assembled in Nigeria to serve the rural and urban farmers. Federal government is attracting these companies to set up their factories in Nigeria and when they do that, it will generate more jobs,” he said.
The Minister assured that the ministry would continue to support farmers like the rice millers, yam, wheat, maize, etc. to produce more to meet the nation’s demand.
Also, he stated that mechanized farming would boost agricultural production and create more jobs for Nigerian Youths, noting that the introduction of mechanised farming was necessary in order to shift from the traditional system of farming and embrace modern technology, enhance self-reliance and boost food production in the country
He appealed to Nigerians to support the government in its commitment to position the agricultural sector to attain economic growth and food security.
“We need to give the government the necessary support and cooperation to enable it to achieve success in terms of food security, job creation and increased Internally Generated Revenue (IGR),” he said.
The Minister challenged the farmers to rise up to the challenge of meeting the expectation of government for the sector being the backbone of the nation’s economy.
In his welcome address, Chairman, Kano State Chapter of AFAN, Mr Ahmed Mudi, said there was a need for government’s interventions to scale-up small scale processors and millers towards making their work easier in all relevant commodities chains.
He requested a capacity building programme for processors and extension services agents in all the states of the federation to take care of farmers and staff at the various levels.
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