While the federal government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, continues to distribute free agricultural inputs and quality seeds as an intervention for smallholder farmers across the country, it has revealed that it targets 35% of inputs to women farmers and processors in line with targets set in the Plan and national gender policies to ensure increased opportunities for women, while 10% is targeted on people with special needs.
Permanent Secretary Dr Ernest Umakhihe said this while continuing the exercise at the National Orientation Agency (NOA) office in Benin’s Edo State, saying it would enhance food and nutrition security. , economic growth and job creation, especially during the post-post period. The era of COVID-19.
The exercise included the distribution of equipment such as a food dehydrator, motorized oil palm harvester, cashew nut cracker, 3 HP water pump, knapsack sprayers, agrochemicals, activators of growing, power tillers, cassava stalks, planters and cassava processing equipment, among others.
According to Umakhihe, “Smallholders are the most vulnerable in times of crisis, it becomes imperative for the federal government to support them with much needed inputs, especially seeds, which are the single most important factor influencing the yield of farmers. to enable them to recover quickly from the setback of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the effect of insecurity”.
The Permanent Secretary highlighted the Ministry’s commitment to addressing national and food security by developing strategic policies such as the Agriculture Plan for Food and Jobs (AFJP), the Green Imperative, the Agricultural Promotion Policy, NATIP as well as the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) among others.
He said the ministry in its efforts to support smallholder farmers has distributed different equipment, improved seeds and seedlings of various crops to farmers in Osun, Plateau, Kaduna and Taraba states. The next major input and equipment distribution will take place in Katsina State.
Umakhihe instructed beneficiaries to use these inputs wisely to produce food for the nation while calling on other stakeholders to provide similar support to farmers “so that together we can become self-sufficient in food production”.
In his welcoming remarks, Edo State Agriculture and Food Security Commissioner Stephen Idehenre said the initiatives were designed to provide critical support to smallholder farmers in the state, leverage leveraging land assets to spur development and diversify the economy with a focus on sustaining food. Security.
Earlier, in his goodwill message, the Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Edo Chapter, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Bako Dogo commended the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari for its progressive and pragmatic policies in the agricultural sector, aimed at diversifying the economy, increasing production and incomes of the country’s farmers.
One of the beneficiaries, a disabled farmer, Mr. Efosa Baldwin thanked the ministry for the free agricultural inputs and pledged to use the inputs wisely.
Distributed agricultural inputs/equipment included; Food Dehydrator 20, Motorized Oil Palm 50, Cashew Cracker 5, Water Pump 3 HP 100, Knapsack Sprayer 625, Cypermtetnine 1,000 liters, Agrixyme 400 liters, Glyphosate 1,239 liters, Pathway (liquid) 960 liters, 5 tiller and 200 bee clothes.