In a significant stride towards fostering agricultural development and reducing poverty, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has successfully implemented the Agriculture For Food and Jobs Creation Programme (AFJP).
This initiative, operating under the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Scheme of the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, aimed at uplifting vulnerable smallholder farmers in the South West and South South regions of Nigeria.
The comprehensive training and empowerment of 3,000 farmers occurred concurrently across the 12 states in these regions.
The selection process, overseen by the respective State Ministry of Agriculture and validated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, ensured the support reached those in need.
PLATFORM TIMES reports that beneficiaries received vital farm inputs, including knapsack sprayers, organic fertilizers, herbicides, maize seeds, rice seeds, and various vegetable seeds like tomato, pepper, and okra.
Poultry farmers received day-old chicks, while fish farmers were supplied with essential fish feeds.
The primary objective of the program was to elevate vulnerable smallholder farmers from poverty by enhancing productivity through modern agricultural technologies.
Twelve resource persons, experts from the Faculties of Agriculture in Federal Universities, were enlisted to educate farmers on Good Agricultural Practices.
Professor Tajudeen Bameke, a resource person from the Department of Agricultural Extension at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, encouraged farmers to add value to their products.
Emphasising the importance of value addition, Bameke highlighted its potential to increase profits and reduce dependence on middlemen, ultimately lowering food costs in the market.
As part of the empowerment, farmers will receive a conditional transfer of fifteen thousand naira, further demonstrating the government’s commitment to their prosperity.
The farmers expressed gratitude to both the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security for this transformative program.
The distribution process was led by state officers from the State Ministry of Agriculture and State Agricultural Development Programs, closely supervised by officials from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Abuja.
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