WorldStage Newsonline-- the Federal Government of Nigeria has said that its Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) attracted over $8 billion private investments commitments to the nation’s economy between 2011 and 2014.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Arc. Sonny Echono, in a statement issued by the ministry’s Director of Information and Protocol, Mr. Tony Ohaeri, said that the ATA also facilitated a dedicated development finance window of N200 billion Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN) to provide credits for agricultural value chain actors.
Arc. Echono said that the ATA programme created over 3.5 million jobs, increased food production by 21 million tonnes of agricultural commodities that overshot the 2015 targets.
He also explained that the programme removed government monopoly in the distribution of farm inputs by engaging the private sector.
According to him, private sector involvement in the distribution of farm inputs increased fertilizer usage from 13kg per hectare to 80kg hectare, as well as enabled the growth of seed companies from 11 to 34 between 2011-2014.
“At present, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of this Administration has a policy direction to provide private sector managed incentives on agro-inputs, mechanization and processing through the Growth Enhancement Scheme.
“Since its introduction in 2011, the ATA process has impacted on the country’s socio-economic growth by establishing the Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme and the “Youth and Women in Agribusiness Investment Programme” to enable the group undertake viable agribusiness.
“It created the Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing on Agricultural Lending to guarantee credit facility on agro inputs to farmers, Commodity Trade and Market Development Corporation to entrench market access for commodity value chain operators and Staple Crop Processing Zone as dedicated infrastructural facility for adding value to agricultural commodities.”