The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, on Thursday confirmed a brighter outlook for smallholder farmers in the territory as they are to enjoy 50 per cent subsidy on fertilizers and improved seeds of maize and rice.
She made this known at the flag-off of 2012 subsidized input distribution exercise under the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS).
GES is one of the key initiatives under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) aimed at revamping the agriculture sector, ensuring food security, diversifying the economy, and enhancing foreign exchange earnings.
Under the GES, Akinjide explained that the support of the Federal Government and the FCTA to smallholder farmers in the agriculture value chain would be driven by the private sector.
“Good quality agro-inputs will be made available through the certified private agro-dealers. The era of diversion of subsidized fertilizers by middlemen has gone for good. All the needs of our farmers are being addressed through the value-chain approach in the ATA of President Goodluck Jonathan
“The ultimate goal is to ensure that agriculture is practiced as lucrative commercial enterprise that is not only sustainable but also attractive to our youths and jobless men and women roaming the street,” she noted.
She emphasized that the FCTA was committed to the development of viable agricultural entrepreneurship through provision of free technical expertise and farm subsidies.
The minister listed some of the farmers’ friendly programmes initiated by the FCTA to include: public-private partnership in agricultural land development programme at Piri in Kwali Area Council, and provision of tractors and other agric implements to farmers at subsidized rate