The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has revealed that it registered and developed the database of five million Nigerian farmers for fertiliser subsidy support.
The fertiliser subsidy support targets smallholder farmers and it is aimed at creating access to affordable and quality fertilisers.
Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono made this known on Monday during a Consultative Meeting of National Stakeholders on Restructuring of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative in Abuja.
According to the minister, the initiative is against the backdrop of the President Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) by President Muhammadu Buhari, with the President looking to reposition the PFI for long-lasting impact.
He said the meeting was convened to critically examine and develop the best strategy to reach the smallholder farmers with the subsidy support, sustainably.
He, however, disclosed that several intervention programmes targeted at supporting smallholder farmers have been put in place by the government.
The interventions, Nanono said, will also help lift farmers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, flood, the fall-out of the EndSARS protest, and the earlier cessation of rainfall.
“The primary concern of Government is how to get the majority of the smallholder farmers out of extreme poverty through targeted support in order to increase their level of productivity, household incomes and by extension guarantee food security for the nation.
“We are all aware of the efforts Mr. President has made in promoting the local production of fertilisers in the country in order to ensure self-sufficiency and easy access to products by the farmers to assist them in their production.
“Preparatory to the provision of the subsidy support, I wish to inform you that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has registered and developed the database of the smallholder farmers for easy targeting with the fertiliser subsidy support.
“So far about five million farmers and their farms have been registered with biometrics including farm GIS coordinates,” he said.
Speaking further, Nanono said efforts, through the National Fertiliser Quality Control (NFQC) Act, 2019, signed by President Buhari, are been made to protect the hard-earned investments of farmers and fertiliser enterprises.
The minister said, “Similarly, I have also signed the National Fertiliser Regulations, which is currently with the Federal Ministry of Justice for publication in the national gazette.
“The Regulatory framework is to regulate the activities of fertiliser operators such as manufacturers, blenders, producers and importers as well as agro-dealers (distributors) under which they must register and obtain Certificate of Registration and Sales Permit respectively before being allowed to operate in the country.
“To ease the registration process with a view to promoting transparency and accountability, an e-registration portal has been developed and is operational”.
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