The Federal Government is committing N276 billion, secured as loans from commercial banks, to reach five million farmers this year, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, has said.
Adesina said this at Orin-Ekiti in Ido-Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State on Monday at the launch of ``Youth In Commercial Agribusiness'' as well as the inauguration of the 2012 Agriculture Session in Ekiti State.
“We have completed the database of farmers, which we will continue to upgrade, so that we can have steady information on farmers in order to put a final stop to the huge corruption in the system of distributing fertilisers.
“In the past, only 11 percent of the farmers get fertiliser procured by the Federal Government and sold to farmers through the various state governments.
“That means that some 89 percent of farmers never get the fertilisers. What we have found out is that the system was so corrupt, inefficient and displaces the private sector.”
Adesina said that President Goodluck Jonathan had directed the ministry to commence meaningful partnership programmes with all states in order to boost employment of youths through agriculture.
The minister said the Federal Government had stopped the sale of fertilisers to farmers through intermediaries to stop corruption in the exercise.
According to him, the government has adopted another means through which the commodity would reach the real farmers.
“What we have designed as a second option is that henceforth, we will be using direct mobile phones, called E-Wallet to target real farmers and reach them with their fertiliser without involving the third party.”
Adesina explained that the new system would be rolled out across the country, beginning from this planting season.
Earlier, Gov. Kayode Fayemi said the thrust of the youth in Agriculture programme was to commercialise farming and promote mechanisation for generation of employment and improved revenue.
He said that 58,000 peasant farmers had being registered in the state while the youth farming programme would provide additional 20,000 jobs.