No less than 100,000 youths are to benefit directly from the Federal Government’s $1.1bn agriculture mechanisation scheme known as the Green Imperative Programme.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, who said an 18-man committee has been inaugurated by the Federal Government for the implementation of the project.
During the inauguration, the minister emphasised the importance of the project saying there was great need to prioritise mechanisation in the country’s agricultural practice.
Apart from the youths, who would benefit directly, Nanono said five million would benefit indirectly as the programme is designed to enable Nigeria to acquire 10,000 units of tractors and 50,000 units of assorted implement and equipment to be assembled in Nigeria.
Why this matters: With the much-needed equipment and training, production in the country would be boosted as smallholder farmers would get assistance to prepare the soil, cultivate and harvest farm produce.
According to Nanono, beneficiaries would be trained over the course of 10 years across the 780 service centres that would be established. He stated that the GIP was further designed to enhance the mechanisation of agricultural specialised extension services and agro-processing in the 774 local government areas and the six area councils in the Federal Capital Territory.
More on the $1.1 billion facility: The loan used for the Green Imperative Programme is said to be funded by the Brazilian government through the Deutsche Bank, Development Bank of Brazil and the Islamic Development Bank.
According to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the loan is be repaid at three percent interest rate over a period of 15 years for the Development Bank of Brazil and seven years including two years moratorium for the Deutsche Bank.