The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said on Tuesday that not less than 10 million farmers had been registered in 2013 under the Growth Enhancement Support scheme (GES).
Speaking during a courtesy visit to Gov. Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State, Adesina said that in Katsina alone, 196, 000 farmers were registered.
He said that the Federal Government was determined to reach all registered farmers with fertiliser, chemicals and improved seeds.
“The government will also provide crop insurance to them in case of drought. In Katsina alone, 196,000 farmers have registered for the 2013 cropping season.”
The minister also said that farmers across the country produced nine million tonnes of food between 2011 and 2012, representing 85 per cent above the targeted five million tonnes.
According to him, the achievement has reduced the proportion of poor people in the country from 19.3 per cent in 1992 to 8.5 per cent in 2012.
he also informed Shema that Nigeria had met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 target on reducing the number of hungry people in the country by half three years ahead of the targeted date.
“By 2015, the Federal Government is expecting that 3.2 million tonnes of rice will be cultivated; already 1.1 million tonnes was cultivated in 2012 in 10 states.
“The Federal Government is also sure that by 2015, over 3.5 million jobs will be created by the sector; already, 2.2 million jobs were created in 2012.”
Responding, Shema said that the state had cultivated 15,000 hectares through irrigation farming, adding that Nigeria would soon become an exporter rather than an importer of food.
He pledged the continuous support of the government toward enhancing agricultural productivity. (NAN)