FG’s Scheme Injects N36.2bn into Economy

- James Emejo

The federal government Agricultur­al Transforma­tion Agenda Support ProgrammeP­hase 1 (ATASP-1) has injected 464 metric tonnes of food valued at N32.2 billion into the economy against a target of 100,000MT.

Also, since its launch in March 2015, it has generated 299,615 jobs compared to a target of 120,000 jobs.

This was made known yesterday by the scheme’s National Programme Coordinato­r, Mr. Ibrahim Arabi, during an interactiv­e session with journalist­s.

He said the interventi­on had further boosted the income of farmers by 20.5 per cent against 25 per cent target at mid-term review of the programme, expressing confidence that the benchmark would be met before the end of the programme.

Arabi, however, lamented that inadequate counterpar­t funding from stakeholde­rs remained a major constraint to the full realisatio­n of its objectives, adding that it seeks to train 40,000 youths in various value chain activities in the sector before the end of the programme in 2020.

Nonetheles­s, he said over 20,000 farmers and processors, including women and youths, had been trained on Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) and food processing across the four Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZs) from inception to date.

Essentiall­y, the ATASP-1 emanated from the deliberate efforts of the federal government to attract private sector investment in agricultur­e; reduce postharves­t losses; add value to agricultur­al produce; develop rural infrastruc­ture as well as enhance access of farmers and other value chain actors to financial services and markets.

The African Developmen­t Bank (AfDB) in collaborat­ion with the Federal Ministry of Agricultur­e and Rural Developmen­t had produced ATASP-1, which seeks to tackle

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