The permanent secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Shehu Ahmed has said that 1.5million farmers are to benefit from the 2016/2017 Growth Enhancement Scheme(GES) dry season farming.
He further revealed that the focus of the scheme would be on four major crops including rice, wheat, maize and groundnuts.
The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director-General of the National Seed Council, Dr. Philip Ojo stated this at the opening ceremony of the Growth Enhancement Scheme Stakeholders Preparatory Meeting on 2016/2017 Dry Season Farming in Abuja yesterday.
He said, “The support would include their input packages which would be available at redemption centres to ensure maximum output while a total number of 1,500,580 farmers are targeted to be supported under value chains crops in the 2016/2017 dry season, namely rice -1,197,240 farmers, maize- 65,055 farmers, wheat- 234,445 farmers, groundnut – 3,840 farmers”
Enumerating the challenges faced with the implementation of the 2016, wet season GES, he said, “They ranged from the problems associated with the use of tablets for redemption, late deployment of inputs due to scarcity of the products ,non- settlement of the outstanding claims of agro- dealers and input suppliers among others. The
Permanent Secretary expressed the hope that the meeting would provide an avenue for the implementation plan of the 2016/2017 dry season GES to be thoroughly discussed and finalised”.
The PS further revealed that the federal government had also rolled out measures that would be taken to ensure transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) of the present administration.