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FG to stimulate economy with $10b agric fund

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The Federal Government yesterday said it would create about five million jobs and inject over $10 billion into the economy in the next 10 years through its agriculture revolution programme tagged “The Green Imperative.”

The initiative would also create a sustainable supply chain of raw materials for the country’s large manufacturing companies to source locally, thereby saving billions of dollars in food-related foreign exchange.

Addressing a joint media briefing yesterday in Abuja that had in attendance his Agriculture and Rural Development colleague, Sabo Nanono, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the programme, with investible funds worth $1.2 billion, would save the country scarce resources, promote mechanised farming and engender value-added agricultural production.

Within three years, the minister said about 100,000 extension workers will be trained, while the project would impact over 35 million persons nutritionally and economically as well as revitalise research and extension services through a five-year technology package transfer component.

The project, according to him, is a Nigeria-Brazil bilateral agriculture development programme, conceptualised on June 6, 2016 by virtue of the country’s enrolment in Brazil’s Government-to-Government More Food International Programme (MFIP).

Several high-level ministerial, technical visits and exchanges between both nations led to the eventual signing of a Bilateral Protocol of Intention with the Brazilian government in March 2017.

Vice President Yemi Osibanjo launched the programme on January 17,2019 at an event graced by representatives of the South American nation, Deutsche Bank in addition to the private sector players from the two countries.

Mohammed hinted that the project would be implemented from five to 10 years with funding from the Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank, while insurance is to be provided by the Brazilian Guarantees and Fund Managements Agency (ABGF) and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit (ICIEC) of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and coordinated by Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV).

Explaining how the scheme will turn agriculture around in Nigeria, the minister added that six plants would be reactivated in all of the nation’s the six-geopolitical zones to assemble tractors and other implements besides importation of the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts of about 5,000 earth removers and numerous tools for 10 years.

Another expected benefit is the establishment of 142 agro-processing centres for value addition.


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