The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed to providing Nigeria with a $134 million loan, a crucial component of the National Agricultural Growth Scheme and AgroPocket (NAGS-AP) Project.
The initiative aims to enhance the capacity of farmers involved in cultivating essential staples such as rice, maize, cassava, and wheat across the nation.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, during the launch of this year’s Wheat Dry Season farming in Jigawa State over the weekend.
Kyari emphasized that the loan would contribute to a projected 20% increase in crop yield compared to the previous year.
In a statement, the minister highlighted the innovative use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to target proven irrigated farm clusters, deploy verified farmer data, and map farmers to AgroDealer Redemption Centres. Despite acknowledging the anticipated challenges, Kyari expressed confidence in the project’s success.
Governor Umar Namadi of Jigawa expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for selecting Jigawa as a beneficiary and providing substantial assistance to farmers.
He estimated that more than 42,000 farmers in the state would benefit from the project, urging them to adhere to best practices for a successful harvest.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Nicolas Lang, urged Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State to prioritize investment in education, agriculture, and health sectors to enhance service delivery.
Lang emphasized that quality and functional education were fundamental to development at both the state and national levels.
Acknowledging Yobe’s efforts in training and retraining teachers, Lang assured continued support from the Swiss government to conflict-affected states in the North-East, emphasizing the importance of focusing on education, agriculture, and health.
Governor Buni, during his visit to the Swiss Ambassador, reported successful resettlement of displaced persons, except for Malundunari, a community recently attacked by Boko Haram.
He highlighted collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to facilitate the return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their communities.
Buni emphasized the state’s readiness to partner with the Swiss government to improve living conditions, particularly in agriculture, to discourage rural-urban migration.
The Swiss Ambassador reiterated continuous support to the North-East states affected by conflict, prioritizing education, agriculture, and health sectors for development interventions.
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