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Expert tasks FG on graduate farm scheme


Farmers at work.

The Federal Government has been urged to consider the introduction of graduate farm scheme for fresh graduates from tertiary institutions, to practice agriculture during their mandatory national youth service year, especially agriculture graduates.

Prof. Wilfred Ifeanyi Okonkwo of the Department of Agricultural and Bioresources Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, who made the appeal recently in Kaduna, added that the establishment of agricultural farms in the geopolitical zones of Nigeria could also help enhance production and boost agriculture in the country, just in line with the government policy of economic diversification.

He noted that government agencies such as the military, police and others could help boost agricultural production by establishing agricultural farms, while modernised new farm settlements should be introduced in conformity with the international best practices.

“To this end it is the government responsibility to provide the needed equipment for farm operations and guaranteeing of the required credit facilities for the initial take off. Local manufacturers of farm implements and machinery should be encouraged, while maintenance engineers and technicians trained for their maintenance.

“Funds budgeted for the procurement of farm equipment and machinery should be properly utilised. Government agricultural policy reforms should be directed towards improving the sector and farmers welfare to ensure that such policy are implemented,” he said.

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