By Rita Iliya
Minna, Dec. 4, 2020 Niger state government, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and other development partners are to invest N200.6 million in the agriculture sector.
Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), disclosed this during a press conference in Minna on Thursday.
He said that the money would be used to implement the Niger state Policy on Agriculture and Agriculture Investment Plan (NSAIP) for four years.
Matane said that AGRA was providing funding support to the state through the state ministry of agriculture.
He said the fund would address challenges of food insecurity and limited access to structured markets faced by smallholder rice farmers in the state.
He said that the programme targets 156,250 farmers in five local government areas for improved access to seeds and fertilisers, extension and advisory support and mechanisation services.
He added that the NSAIP targets key crops, livestock and fisheries value chains as well as production of rice, maize, cassava, sorghum and soybeans, cashews, oil palm, ginger, shea, sesame and cotton.
According to him, AGRA is also implementing a two-year capacity strengthening project for the ministry, adding that the policy and investment document had already been been developed.
Matane disclosed that the agriculture policy provides a framework that enunciated the guidelines, objectives, structures and standards to achieve the desired goal.
He said that the document were to put the state on pedestal of accelerated agriculture growth and development.
He revealed that the document can be accessed on the ministry’s website: www.nigeragric.org.
Alhaji Haliru Zakari, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, commended AGRA and other partners for complementing government efforts at prioritising agriculture in the State.
He disclosed that the NSAIP would soon be implemented.