.Giving agriculture needed push to drive economic growth

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, ABUJA

THE Federal Government, yesterday, said about 3.6 million indirect jobs have been created from $1.113 billion (about N461.9b) worth of externally funded projects being implemented by the Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

The government also said disruptions caused in the northern part of the country as a result of terrorist activities have not significantly caused a drop in agricultural production.

Minister of Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar, while featuring on the Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said $538 million was approved for special agricultural processing zones to support inclusive and sustainable agricultural development in Nigeria.

Abubakar added that another project worth $575 million was being implemented to improve rural access and agricultural marketing in participating states while strengthening the financing institutional base for effective development, maintenance and management of rural roads network.

He gave the participating states as Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau and Sokoto.

According to him, government was implementing the Value Chain Development Programme Additional Financing (VCDP-AF) 2020-2024 to enhance, on a sustainable basis, incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in the production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava.

He added that the project was currently being implemented in nine states, including Niger, Benue, Ogun, Ebonyi, Taraba, Anambra, Nasarawa, Kogi and Enugu “to scale up the achievement recorded in the original VCDP states.”

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