Enugu - The Federal Government on Thursday said
its Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) would create more than 3.5
million jobs in the sector from the actualisation of commodity value
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, announced this in Enugu at the 4th
National Agricultural Exhibition and Symposium organised by the Enugu
Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA).
Adesina, represented by the South East Regional Director in the
ministry, Dr Uche Nwafor, said that the Federal Government planned to
inject over N60 billion into the economy.
He said that the government would also provide over N300 billion
additional incomes to Nigerian farmers in the agricultural sector from
the commodity value chains.
The minister said that government had leveraged over 8 billion dollars of private investment commitments through ATA.
According to the minister, government has potent policies and laws to reposition the agriculture sector.
“ATA is aimed at promoting a private sector driven commodity value
chain mechanism to appropriately utilise agricultural resources in line
with global trend.
“Through this, domestic food supply will increase by 20 million tonnes by 2015,’’ he said.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, presented a paper
titled: “Systematic Water Management for Sustainable Agricultural
Development and Food Production in Nigeria.”
According to her, the ministry is determined to turn around the
irrigation sub-sector by investing in infra structural development.
Ochekpe, represented by Dr Ben Aneke, Head of Department,
Agro-Hydrology of the Anambra-Imo River Basin Authority, said that most
dams which were constructed in the 80s, were under-utilised.
“It has been observed that irrigation projects have been bedevilled
by defects and inadequacies in all stages of the projects, starting from
the planning, design to the execution as well as operation and
maintenance,’’ she said.
Gov. Sullivan Chime of Enugu State urged the Federal Government to
set up an irrigation project to assist and service farmers in the state.
Chime, represented by his Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Mike Eneh,
called on ECCIMA to partner with the state government to improve
mechanised agriculture in the state.
Earlier, the President of ECCIMA, Dr Theo Okonkwo, appealed to banks
to disburse credit facilities at lower interest rate to farmers, to
enable them to work effectively.