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Fertilizers: FG targets 20m farmers in 2015 — D-G

Vanguard - September 28, 2014

Acting Director-General, National Agricultural Seed Councils (NASC) Dr Philips Olusegun-Ojo, said that the Federal Government was targeting 20 million farmers in the fertilizer distribution for the 2015 farming season.
Olusegun-Ojo made this known when he declared open a three-day training on seed certification and quality control held at the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) in Zaria.
The training, organised by the council had corps members, NASC certification officers, internal quality control and seed production officers of seed companies as participants.
Olusegun-Ojo said that in 2014, the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme of the Federal Government reached out to over 90 per cent of Nigerian farmers, saying that this had never happened in the past.
“Before the introduction of GES, only 11 per cent of Nigerian farmers got fertilisers; but now, over 90 per cent receive the commodity from their redemption centres.
“In view of the enormous success recorded by GES in Nigeria, countries like China, Brazil, Kenya and Tanzania came to borrow a leaf from us.”
Olusegun-Ojo applauded the Federal Government’s initiative in introducing the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) aimed at creating jobs for Nigerians apart from facilitating the attainment of national food security.
The director-general noted that ATA had succeeded in encouraging farmers to view farming as a business and not as an inherited traditional profession with bleak future.
He said that all tiers of government, cooperative societies, private organisations as well as individuals were partners in progress as far as agricultural transformation was concerned.
He, however, observed that some state governments were reluctant in extending the necessary support to enhance the success of ATA in their respective states.
The director-general said that the task of making high quality seeds available to the farming population was enormous.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the NASC Regional Head, North-West Zone, Malam Mohammed Ubandoma, said the training was one of the ways to augment the efforts of ATA. According to him, sensitisation and training of stakeholders are part of government’s efforts to ensure food security.
He explained that it was necessary to acquaint stakeholders with seed production and quality control techniques.
He said the training was a collective responsibility towards ensuring quality seed production for consumption as well as agro-industries through the value chain approach.


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