The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development has secured N30 billion funding to support seed and fertiliser companies, according to the Minister, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina.
Adesina disclosed this in Abuja at the Ministerial Platform organised to mark the 2012 Democracy Day and the first anniversary President Goodluck Jonathan's administration.
He said that the fund was raised through financial institutions with the aid of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He said that under the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme, the Federal Government had trained and deployed certified agro dealers to rural areas to supply the inputs to farmers across the country.
The GES programme is an initiative of the Federal Government aimed at subsidising the cost of major agricultural inputs such as fertiliser and seeds for farmers in the country.
The scheme aims to empower farmers to increase their yield and encourage a shift from subsistence to commercial farming, based on an electronic registration and validation process.
Adesina said that for effective implementation of the scheme, three million farmers had been registered across the country, adding that it would enhance farmers' productivity.
"Under this scheme, the federal and state governments would assist farmers to pay 50 per cent of the total cost of inputs while the farmer bears 50 per cent of the cost.
“Seeds and fertilisers should be sold to farmers directly by agro dealers. This is also to help farmers get high quality seeds and fertilisers at cheaper price”.
The minister said that the agriculture sector would provide job for 3.5 million Nigerians between 2012 and 2015.