The Federal Government of Nigeria has entered into partnership with Brazil to drive its Agriculture Mechanisation Programme and ensure food sufficiency.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Nanono, disclosed this at the 44th meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja on Thursday.
Nanono said that the partnership had yielded an Agricultural Mechanisation loan to the tune of €995 million.
He said: “Agricultural productivity can only improve through mechanisation of production activities.
“In our effort to improve the agricultural production profile of the country, we have entered into a partnership with the government of Brazil through one of their foremost technology transfer institutions, the Fundacao Getulio Vargas (FGV).
“This partnership has yielded an Agricultural Mechanisation loan to the tune of nine hundred and ninety five million euros (€995m).
“This shall be granted to Nigerian entrepreneurs to establish Service Centres across all the 774 local governments of the country, selling services to all categories of farmers and thereby helping to improve their productivity.
“The service centres shall be of either a Type 1, supporting production activities; or a Type 2, supporting processing and packaging activities.
“We also have the target to improve on the export front and to this end, necessary support is being given for increase in the export of agricultural commodities like sesame, hibiscus, cotton and sorghum.”
Nanono said the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) had been adjudged worldwide to be a well-conceived project which seeks to transform the nation’s livestock sector from nomadic-dependence into organised ranching, of which 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory had registered with the NLTP Office.
“We are all aware of the troubles that our nation is going through with respect to the farmers-herders clashes which have often produced violent and expensive consequences.
“This administration is more committed than ever to resolve this problem on a more permanent solution.
“To this end, 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory have registered with the NLTP Office, out of which 10 states have created their own teams which have been trained by the Federal Office.
“Seven of these 10 states have also earmarked about 19 grazing reserves for the implementation of the NLTP, with a total land size of approximately 400,000 hectares.
“It is, therefore, safe to say that the NLTP, when fully implemented will bring an end to the incessant clashes between the farmers and herdsmen.
“A bigger impact on Nigeria’s economy will be made when we are able to spend less on importation of dairy and beef products which currently constitute a significant percentage of Nigeria’s food import.
“A Dutch consortium which is partnering with the Federal Government for the implementation of the first pilot state was able to attract a grant from their home country of Netherlands for the start-up of the National Livestock Transformation Plan pilot in Nasarawa State.
“This pilot site will serve as a hub for knowledge and skills transfer to the pastoralist community, who will be encouraged and hand-held to adopt ranching, to practice what they have learnt.
“The necessary incentives shall also be given to the participating pastoralists.
“We keep receiving offers for participation in the scheme from within the country and the world at large and this has further strengthened the resolve of this administration to provide such an enabling environment capable of attracting investments into the sector,” he said.
We are ready to resume CVR on June 28 — INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is fully ready to resume the nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) scheduled for June 28.
INEC Deputy Director, Voter Education Division, Mrs Mary Nkem, stated this at a road show on the CVR, organised by the commission in Abuja.
Mrs Nkem said that the road show was to sensitise and to mobilise eligible voters in the FCT for the exercise.
“It is also to let FCT residents know those who are being targeted in the exercise.
“Those who have turned 18 after the last registration exercise, or those who are more than 18 years but have never registered.
“This exercise is also for those who have issues with their accreditation during the past elections, those who have issues with their Permanent Voter Cards or their biometric details,” Ekem explained.
She said that the exercise would be taking place from 9 a.m. to 3p.m. from Monday to Friday, excluding weekends.
“It will involve two processes, that is, online pre-registration and physical registration.
“So, people can sit in the comfort of their homes and log in details for registration, then go to any of our local government or state office to capture their biometrics and photographs; or you appear physically at any designated register,” she said.
She said that the commission would come up with the guidelines for the collection of PVCs.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the road show was used to sensitise FCT residents in different languages, including English, broken English, Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba.
Fliers containing details of the process, time and date for the exercise were also distributed to residents.
The road show, which took off from INEC Headquarters, went through Federal Secretariat, Asokoro, AYA Roundabout, Garki Market, Area 11, Wuse Market and Utako Market.
At the road show were INEC staff members from the voter education and publicity department, members of the National Youth Service Corps, among others.