FG To Probe GES Scheme – Ogbeh

Audu OgbehThe Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme initiated by the immediate past Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, for farmers in the country will be probed by the federal government, his successor, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has said.
Chief Ogbeh made the disclosure when he received the Senate Committee on Agriculture led by its chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.
The minister said the probe became necessary to ‎check the anomalies in quality of seed distributed to farmers as well as financial claims allegedly spent on the farm input especially in 2015.
The GES scheme was a farm support ‎initiative where registered farmers in the country paid 50 per cent cost for seeds and fertilizers.
Mr. Ogbeh, however, informed the Senate Committee that the ministry spent huge sum on the GES but currently owes some agro-dealers, who took part in the programme.
“We have challenges of seed. Last year under the GES scheme, seed supply happened but the quality of seeds that was sold was not too good. We are dealing with some of those issues now.
“Even the figures branded around as being spent on seed are so high that we are investigating them because we don’t even have the money to pay. We are also dealing on payment of fertilisers. Mr. President was kind enough to help us find money to clear those arrears, so we can begin to plan for fertilizer blending for this season”, he stated.