Minister of State for Agriculture, Bukar Tijani
The Federal Government has unveiled its One-stop Shop Agro-Input Centre to ensure the availability of agriculture inputs for farmers.
The Minister of State for Agriculture, Bukar Tijani, who launched the centre located in Wushishi, Niger State, said the move would help to guarantee the accessibility and affordability of agricultural inputs for farmers in the country.
He said that about 62 of such centres were also ready for launching, adding that the federal government was committed to removing every impediment to agriculture inputs.
He said, "The centre was constructed by the federal government for the purpose of ensuring the availability, accessibility and affordability of agriculture inputs such as fertiliser, agro chemicals, quality seed, and livestocks.
“The task of making food available, affordable and accessible to all Nigerians through promotion of food security programmes has been the major focus of the federal government.
“The ministry is very much mindful of the serious impediment of inaccessibility of good quality agriculture inputs such as fertiliser, agro-chemicals, seeds and seedlings, livestock feeds, primary processing and extension services by farmers in a bid to maximise aggregate agricultural production output for the nation."
The minister said the impediment as well as the preparedness of the federal government to withdraw from direct procurement and distribution of all agric inputs informed the decision to propose the establishment of the agro-input centre in each local government area.
"The centres would strengthen the food security programme of the federal government and they are aimed at providing market information services, and promote private sector investment in viable commercial agriculture,” he added.
Also speaking at the event, the Niger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, commended the FG for its immediate intervention by distributing relief materials for flood victims in the state.
Aliyu, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Daniel Shasheri, disclosed on-going plans to partner the Bank of Industry to finance about 5,000 farmers. The move is aimed to cultivate 10,000 hectares or rice under the state's Rice Investment Consortium Project.
He informed that the state government has earmarked about N500m in addition with additional 25 new tractors.