The Honourable Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, CON, has reiterated the tenacity of the Ministry to key into the Agricultural Revolution in partnership with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Adesola Olusade, disclosed this during the 2nd collaboration meeting with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) officials on Agricultural Revolution Initiative in the Niger Delta Region, held recently at the Ministry’s Conference room in Abuja.
Both Officials of the Ministry and CBN resolved to fashion out ways on Agricultural Revolution Initiative, for possible take-off of the programme in the region.
He said that the Ministry would focus on the area of land acquisition, reason being that the Ministry is a core Governmental Agency and can easily relate with the Governors of the nine States to address the issue under the Land Use Act, adding that, the issue would be discussed at the next National Council meeting, to be held in Rivers State.
Sen. Akpabio informed the CBN representatives that the Ministry has two departments that interface with the Communities, the Community Development and Education Department (CDE) and the Economic Empowerment Department (EED), explaining that, EED handles issues bordering on agriculture and allied industries while CDE engages with the communities. He noted that the Ministry would invite NDDC, to share in the cost and vision of the Scheme since both exist as intervention Agencies in the region.
In his remarks, the CBN Governor representative, Mr. Anthony Ifechukwu, said that CBN in 2018 identified four (4) key crops with comparative advantage in the region, they are; Cassava, Rice, Oil Palm and Cocoa. Livestock and Fishery production were also being considered for possible intervention by the Bank.
Mr. Ifechukwu also assured participating Farmers of a guaranteed market prize for their produce, explaining that the bank would give a single digit interest loan for 5 years.
He, therefore, advised eligible farmers willing to participate in the scheme to procure quality seedlings from reputable companies and plant their crops in clusters, adding that CBN would do Index Insurance for participating farmers.
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