The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Nigeria has said it is making efforts to augment the Federal Government’s efforts to revitalise the country’s agriculture sector.
Country Director for AGRA, Dr Kehinde Makinde, disclosed this in an interview on Tuesday.
According to him, AGRA would ensure that the agriculture sector contributes largely to the country’s economic transformation.
Makinde stated that the institution will achieve the earlier stated goal through a partnership with the government, to provide quality inputs, in addition to facilitating farmer education on modern farming techniques, especially in rural areas.
Recounting the challenges faced by Nigerian farmers, he further stressed the need for partnership as a route to alleviating their sufferings. The absence of irrigation facilities, inadequate funding and improper farmer enlightenment were some of the challenges he identified.
“Access to adequate credit facilities has remained a threat to the cultivation of local food in the country.
“Access to grants and loans to farmers have remained one of the stumbling blocks of adequate food production in the country.
“Most farmers are willing to double their yearly productions, but they lack the adequate finance to do that”, he added.
He noted that efforts to address these challenges are however underway, as AGRA has already partnered with the Federal Government government on ways to improve rural and urban farmers’ access to technology, to boost food production nationwide.
“AGRA in its part has provided various supports in terms of providing improved seeds to farmers in rural areas where they find it hard to access such technologically advanced seeds that will boost the farm yield of farmers.
“In terms of adhering to modern agricultural best practices, AGRA has trained farmers mostly in rural areas by setting up demo farms for farmers to learn from their extension workers to know when to plant a particular seed, when to apply fertilizer and other chemicals that will help in nurturing the Plant, when to harvest and what to use in harvesting those products.
“AGRA has also helped in Distribution Mechanism. It involves helping agro-dealers in rural areas to get and sell the right volume of seeds to farmers in rural areas.
“AGRA is building the pipeline between government, seed companies and Farmers. Distribution of input to smallholders will go a long way in having a robust harvest”, he explained.
He also disclosed AGRA’s intention to partner with farmer organisations like the Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN), Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) among others.
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