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FG replaces growth enhancement scheme with AIMS


Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, has disclosed plans by the Federal Government to replace the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) with Agricultural Input and Mechanisation Services (AIMS), three years after its cancellation.

AIMS, according to the minister, would involve the recruitment, training and support of three agricultural distributors in each local council, as they would be provided with certified seeds, fertilisers, farm equipment, such as tractors, and threshers, among others, for onward lending to farmers.

The new programme is a clear departure from the GES wherein farmers were able to access improved seeds and fertilisers at 50 per cent subsidised rate.

Ogbeh, who spoke during the Seed Connect Africa Conference organised by the National Agricultural Seed Council in Abuja yesterday, said the reason for the cancellation of the GES programme was because the government does not have enough funds to continue with the programme, adding that GES was fraught with a lot of fraudulent practices by agro dealers who wanted to claim money for the inputs not supplied.

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