The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, says the Federal Government through the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) has empowered 20 young Nigerian Farmers with an initial take-off grant of N30 million.
Nanono said that the grant would ensure ease of business as they (young farmers) invest in Agribusiness in the country.
The minister made this known in a statement by Ezeaja Ikemefuna, the Chief Information Officer of the ministry in Abuja on Monday.
Ikemefuna explained that the minister said this at the grand finale of “The Naija Farmer Reality” show at the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute ( ARMTI), in Abuja on Sunday.
The Naija Farmer Reality show was a youth empowerment project aimed principally to transform unemployed Nigerian youths into employers of labour.
Nanono was represented at the event, by the Director, Animal Husbandry Department, Mrs. Winnie Lai- Solarin.
The minister urged the youths to be good ambassadors and role models to upcoming interested farmers at their various states and communities.
While stating that all participants would receive Seed Capital from BOA and other financial institutions to establish Smallholder Agribusiness, Nanono also advised the youths to utilise the opportunity provided by the show.
Also speaking, Dr Chigbo Okoil, the Promoter and Coordinator of the Naija farmers reality show, said that the maiden edition of the show was sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Okoli said this was done in collaboration with the Nigeria Television Authority Startimes, Radio, Television and Theatre Workers Union of Nigeria, Dangote Group and other stakeholders.
Ikemefuna explained that the highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of the prize of N5 million cash to the best farmer of the Naija Farmers Reality Show to Mr Simeon Edoror a.k.a EHISS from Edo, while other participants went home with N1 million each.
He said that remaining five million naira would be used by the ministry to support the programme.
He said that the maiden edition of the reality show featured 20 housemates, selected from the six geo-political zones of the country, at a located Naija Farmer House in Abuja.
He said that the housemates were in the house for a period of three months.