Daily Trust (Abuja)

24 January 2013

Nigeria: FG Approves N180 Million to Buy Wheat Seeds

The federal government has approved the release of N180 million for the purchase of foundation seeds from wheat farmers at the Bakalori irrigation site in Zamfara.

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development announced while distributing fertiliser and improved rice seeds to the farmers.

Adesina, represented by the Minister of State, Alhaji Bukar Tijjani, said that the federal government had directed the registration of 8,000 farmers, who participated in the production of the foundation seeds but were not captured under the ministry's programmes.

According to him, the wheat seeds will be distributed to the farmers for use during the 2013 irrigation season.

The minister also restated the commitment of the government to the revitalisation of wheat production in the country and providing alternative markets for the produce.

He equally assured that the government would create appropriate market for all the rice produced under the irrigation programme this year.

"The federal government has remained focused and committed to the success of the on-going transformation in the agricultural sector.

"The government will also not relent in providing appropriate incentives to boost the welfare and economy of the farmers.

"President Goodluck Jonathan has resolved to make agriculture the corner stone of the administration's policy on poverty reduction, economic growth and national security through the attainment of food security," he said.

He urged youths in the country to take advantage of the agricultural transformation agenda and participate actively in farming.

Also speaking, the Minister of State for Works, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, said that the government had donated N250 million to victims of recent floods in the state, and 750 tons of assorted grains as assistance.

Yuguda urged the state government to be transparent in the distribution of the donation to only those affected.

NAN reports that about 11, 000 hectares of rice farms are being cultivated at the the Bakalori irrigation site, which stretched through 14 local government areas of the state.

NAN

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