The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that Buhari’s administration is set to revolutionize agriculture in Nigeria through a programme called ‘THE GREEN IMPERATIVE’, which will strengthen food security, create massive jobs, transfer technology, revive or reinvigorate many assembly plants, strengthen the economy, save scarce resources, mechanize farming and lead to the emergence of value-added agriculture, among other benefits.
Speaking at the Press Conference in Abuja on Thursday, he said THE GREEN IMPERATIVE programme officially launched on the 17 January 2019 in the presence of the representatives of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Deutsche Bank as well as Brazilian and Nigerian private sector while the Programme worth US$1.2 billion, to be implemented over a period of 5 to10 years with funding from the Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank.
According to the Minister, “The GREEN IMPERATIVE programme will lead to the Reactivation of six motor assembly plants in the six-geopolitical zones of the country for assembling tractors and other implements. The programme will import the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts of about 5,000 tractors and numerous implements (for local assembly) annually for a period of 10 years. Establishment of 142 agro processing service centres for value addition, with one centre in each Senatorial District. Establishment of 632 mechanization service centres to support primary production in the 774 Local Government Areas and the Federal Capital Territory.
“This will create 774 service centers nationwide to mechanize our farming methods and process or add value to farm produce locally, leading to efficiency and eliminating post-harvest losses, thereby cutting down cost of food all year round. Private sector operators will operate and manage all the service centres and the assembly plants. The programme will create about 5 million jobs and inject over US$10 billion into the economy within 10 years. It will create sustainable supply chain of agricultural raw materials for our large manufacturing companies to source locally, thereby saving billions of US Dollars in food-related forex. It will train about 100,000 extension workers within 3 years. It will impact over 35 million persons nutritionally and economically, It will revitalize our Research and Extension service delivery through a 5-year technology-pack age transfer component”, he said.
He highlighted the evolution of the GREEN IMPERATIVE programme which was jointly done by Nigeria and Brazil. “The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development set up a High-Level Inter-Ministerial Committee for the bilateral programme design. In the course of the programme design, the Brazilian technical mission visited Nigeria and met with rural small-holder farmers. The Nigerian technical team also embarked on a study tour of three African countries (Ghana, Kenya and Senegal) where MFIP is being implemented to study their challenges as well as their successes or failures.The Nigerian technical team has also visited the selected assembly plants in the six geopolitical zones to determine in-country capacity to handle the assembly of a CKD-based programme of this magnitude”.
He added that since 2015, Buhari Administration has been working hard to bring about irreversible change in many sectors and to diversify the economy away from oil. “Many unprecedented programmes embarked upon by the Administration have touched the power sector, where timelines have been given for ending the age-long power supply problem; food security, especially production of rice, a national staple, through the Anchor Borrower’s Programme; the unique Social Intervention Programme (SIP); the unprecedented infrastructural renewal project covering roads, bridges, rail, etc; the pepped-up fight against corruption; the innovative programmes to create jobs and the unrelenting fight against insecurity, among others”, he concluded.