The Federal Government has revealed that at least 5 million farmers have been registered to benefit from its fertilizer subsidy initiative.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, at a Consultative Meeting on Restructuring of Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) for Sustainability in Abuja on Monday, December 7, 2020.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the minister said that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had registered and developed the database targeting smallholder farmers for the fertilizer subsidy support.
Nanono disclosed that the consultative meeting was jointly organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, is to critically examine the proposed option to evolve the best strategy to reach the smallholder farmers with the subsidy support.
He noted that the government’s main focus was to get the majority of the smallholder farmers out of extreme poverty through targeted support to increase their level of productivity.
He said,” We are all aware of the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in promoting local production of fertilizer in the country in order to ensure easy access by farmers. This was made possible by the establishment of the President Fertilizer Initiative.’’
” However, Mr President has restructured the PFI with a view to repositioning it for long term sustainability and greater impact. In order to support the teeming smallholder farmers, Mr President approved that, an implementation template be developed through consultative engagement with the relevant stakeholders,” Nanono said.
Also at the meeting, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari, said one of the objectives of the nation’s fertilizer strategy was to create sufficient supply of safe, high-quality crops and price competitive fertilizer.
What you should know
- This initiative by the Federal Government is part of its effort to create food sufficiency and reduce its importation into the country.
- Also, the Federal Government had earlier earmarked the sum of N600 billion, targeted at 2.4 million farmers, in order to enhance farmer access to agricultural financing in the country.
- The interest-free facility was designed to encourage the application of modern technologies in rice and cash crop cultivation.