BY GABRIEL EWEPU
ABUJA — THE Federal Government, yesterday, vowed to revive the dead groundnut pyramids in the country, valued at $155 million.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who disclosed this in Abuja, said the government was determined to give quality attention to the production, processing and exporting of groundnuts, noting that it would be a focal point of development of the agricultural sector, in conjunction with the private sector.
Adesina said: “Today, therefore, is another major milestone in the drive of President Goodluck Jonathan to transform the agricultural sector of Nigeria. We are launching today, a major effort to revive groundnut production, processing and value addition, for local and export markets in Nigeria.
“The groundnut value chain will produce an additional 120,000 metric tonnes of groundnut grains valued at N24 billion (US$ 155 million) and supplied to small, medium and large scale processors.
“The project will be implemented directly in 15 states (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Kebbi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Taraba Yobe and Zamfara) in the northwest, north east and north central geo-political zones of the country. Our goal is to reach 1.8 million farmers.
“We have been working hard on this for the past two years. That is why I am delighted today to launch the Groundnut Value Chain, GNVC, which is one of the crop-based programmes of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, ATA, of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“It is a new value chain and received budgetary provision for the first time in 2013.
“The main objective of the Groundnut Value Chain is to drive the development of groundnut sub-sector in conjunction with stakeholders along the value chain to improve production, processing, marketing and export of the produce.”
“This will be achieved by improving the profitability of groundnut production through broadening the genetic base and promoting improved cultivars and agronomic practices that meet farmers’ needs and market requirements.