The Federal Government has said it would support farmers with Zero-Interest loans and agricultural inputs to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the flooding in parts of the country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono disclosed this as he received the 2020 Wet Season Agricultural Performance Survey Report (APSR).
Nanono noted that the support would be piloted through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other financial institutions.
In his words: “The ministry would support the farmers with agricultural inputs and zero-interest loans, through the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 and the recent flooding in Kebbi, Jigawa and Kano States.’’
He, however, called on Nigerian farmers to intensify efforts and focus on achieving more successes during the dry season farming in order to cushion the losses occasioned by the pandemic.
The minister received the yearly Agricultural Performance Survey Report (APSR) courtesy of the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS).
He commended the committee for a detailed report, adding that it was timely and will guide the ministry and farmers in planning and preparing ahead of the commencement of the dry season farming.
Representatives of the committee, Executive Director, National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS) and the National Coordinator of the Survey report, Prof Mohammed Othman, disclosed that the survey was conducted between August 23 to September 30, 2020.
AgroBiz also gathered that the report was aggregated by NAERLS, in collaboration with other agricultural institutions.
The 2020 wet season APSR, AgroBiz, made recommendations based on its findings including; Setting up of an Agricultural Trust Fund to cater for farming activities, especially in periods of emergency, among others.
Another recommendation was an active investment in climate-smart agriculture, as well as geared efforts to tackle insecurity.
In addition to ensuring agricultural productivity through input subsidisation, the report recommended the implementation of strategies to strengthen agricultural extension services.