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FG registers 15.5m farmers under GES

by Business News Report

The Federal Government on Thursday said it had registered about 15.5 million farmers under the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES). Mr Sunday Edibor, Regional Director for North Central, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, announced this in Minna at a stakeholders’ meeting. He said the farmers were from Niger, Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa and FCT, to ensure national food security. Edibo said the scheme, which would boost agriculture and ensure self reliance for the farmers, was to help the country in its effort to stop food importation by 2015.
“We intend to stop importing food by 2015, so we have to take steps that would aid the intention of the Federal Government in producing its own food.” He said the states and number of farmers registered between 2012 and 2013 included Niger, 270,000; Plateau, 360,000 and Benue, 252,000. The regional director said the meeting involved GES and Agricultural Development Project coordinators in each of the states, agro-allied dealers and suppliers.
The meeting also involved the state directors of agriculture where the 2013 performance of the scheme in the region was reviewed. Edibo urged rural farmers in the region to register in their various states, to ensure their reliance and food security for the country.
`They should come out to register before we conclude this programme in 2015; they stand the chance of improving their finances and ensuring food security for the nation,’’ he said.
He said the stakeholders deliberated extensively on the issue of inadequacy of fund and extension workers. The director, however, said that the issues would be tackled by the ministry in the 2014 budget. Edibo thanked the Niger Government for supporting the scheme and its agricultural regeneration programmes. He urged other states in the region to emulate the political will of the government to revamp agriculture in their states.

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