James Emejo in Abuja
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, has said the federal government has resolved to inject over N600 billion as stimulus response into the agriculture sector.
The intervention, which targets small scale farmers, seeks to ensure food security and sustainability.
Speaking during a tour of Dangote Fertilizer Plant over the weekend, he said 2.4 million farmers will benefit from the stimulus package in the first instance.
The minister pointed out that to avoid the abuse of government funds as well as its good intentions, the support will be in kind in form of inputs and not cash as was the practice in the past.
Nanono said the forceful closure of all international borders, necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, had made it evident that Nigeria can conveniently and sustainably feed itself.
A statement by Director of Information, FMARD, Mrs. Theodore Ogaziechi, however noted that the minister commenced his tour with a courtesy call on the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, where he pledged to support the state farming communities with rural roads, solar lighting and water holes to encourage as well as increase productivity.
He also promised to collaborate with the state in the area of fishing in order to tap the potentials of its marine endowments and drastically reduce the importation of fish in Nigeria.