60,000 Farmers To Benefit As FG Test-runs Reformed Agro Pocket Scheme

No fewer than 60,000 smallholder farmers involved in the cultivation of rice, maize and sorghum are expected to receive support with farm inputs as the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development begins implementation of the re-formed National Agricultural Growth Scheme and Agro-pocket (NAGS-AP) under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme Phase-One (ATASP-1) project.

The farmers are to get inputs such as fertilizers, seeds and agrochemicals through the ICT based delivery platform with a view to increasing their productivities, household incomes and livelihood in twenty-six local government areas of the five ATASP-1 states of Niger, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano and Sokoto.

The development was made know by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr Ernest Umakhihe yesterday in Abuja at the preparatory meeting of relevant stakeholders for the implementation of the programme which is a direct replacement of the former Growth Enhancement Support (GES) otherwise known as the e-wallet scheme.

According Umakhihe, the goal of the NAGS is to increase total food production to crash the continued rise in the prices of agricultural commodities and make them affordable to the average Nigerians.

He said the project specially targeted to support over 250,000 wheat farmers with relevant farm inputs to cultivate about 250,000 hectares with expected output of 1,250,000 metric tons of wheat to be added to the food reserve with a view to reducing dependence on foreign importation of the product and increase domestic consumption particularly for the flour millers.

“This important gathering of relevant stakeholders will provide an opportunity to re-examine the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and the Operational Modalities (OMs) of NAGS-AP with a view to eliminating any possible areas of weaknesses being exploited by the enemies of the scheme as any form compromise from any player involved in its implementation will not be tolerated or accepted”.


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