The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is targeting more than five million farmers under the Gross Enhancement Support (GES) programme for 2013, says the Minister, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
Adesina said this at the opening of the 2013 Cropping Scheme Meeting organised by the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, Kaduna State.
Represented by Dr Damilola Eniaiyeju, the Director, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension, Adesina said the goal of the GES was to distribute fertiliser direct to genuine farmers across the country with a view to enhancing agricultural production.
He observed that the scheme yielded positive results last year as 8.1 million tonnes of food was added to the farming system during the 2012 farming season and the ministry had so far distributed about N16.5 billion worth of fertiliser to farmers nationwide.
Adesina called on research institutes to brace up for the challenges of meeting the needs and aspirations of farmers.
While praising IAR for its efforts at proffering a solution to the immediate needs of farmers, the minister said the institute remained critical with regard to the production of improved seeds.