In an attempt to upscale agricultural activities in the country, Nigeria’s Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo has divulged that fertiliser blending programme in collaboration with Northern African counterpart, Morocco has opened doors to the establishment of 11 blending plants with a capacity of 2.1million and a price drop from N13,000 per 50kg bag to N5,500.
He recently made this known at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Yaba, during the course of a convocation lecture recently.
The Vice President further testified that agriculture has become a major success story with progression in budgetary allocations to the sector rising from N8.8 billion in 2015 to N46.2 billion in 2016 and N103.8 billion in 2018, claiming that it rose by 14.27% in the year 2018.
Osinbajo equally claimed that credit facilities worth N120.6 billion had been given to 720,000 small-holder farms cultivating 12 commodities, including rice, wheat, cotton, soya beans, cassava, poultry and groundnuts across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as all of these came through the Anchor Borrowers’ programme.
“The anchor Borrowers’ Programme is now digitised. With all farmlands GPRS mapped, biometric data of farmers captured, electronic cards issued and specific inputs are required. This has enhanced traceability and enhanced productivity and yield,” he said.
Thus, he further stressed that despite a few drawbacks experienced in the economy, the FG are confidently approaching self-sufficiency in rice production, of which he cited example of importation of $5 million dollars of rice daily, which automatically depreciates official imports down to 2%.
Other projects, he said, would include construction of more dams to strengthen irrigation practices, saying 13 more dams would be completed by 2020 in addition to already completed seven.
“The work with subnational governments to provide access roads to farms for easy conveyance of products and inputs between markets and the farm will continue,” Osinbajo said.
The Vice President was also convinced that the next level in the agricultural sector would be extending agricultural credits more extensively, categorically to farmers in the southern region of the country.