Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar says the sector has accounted for 23.78 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP.
The minister made this known on Monday in Abuja in a statement issued by Mr Ezeaja Ikemefuna, Chief Information Officer of the ministry.
He stated that Abubakar gave the figure at the inauguration of Federal Government’s Tractorisation Programme in Kaduna State.
He said the agriculture sector remained one of the key players in the economy and the largest employer of labour.
He said the ministry would acquire 10,000 tractors, with implements and 50,000 units of assorted equipment to kickstart the programme.
Abubakar noted that the tractorisation programme would lead to improved quantity and quality of food per person, reduce drudgery of farmers and increase productivity.
The minister said Nigeria and Brazil entered into bi-lateral agreement under the More Food International Programme (MFIP) of Brazil, which culminated in a loan of 1.2 billion dollars for Nigeria.
The statement also quoted the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, as saying the programme would move agriculture from subsistence to commercial business venture.
He said it would also improve the economy of farmers, drive development in agrarian communities, encourage youth participation, and improve revenue in the sector.
Umakhihe reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to taking the tractorisation programme to higher pedestal where all and sundry would acknowledge its modest achievements.
Earlier, Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture, Alhaji Alwan Hassan, observed that agricultural mechanisation was low in Nigeria.
Hassan said the success of agricultural production depended largely on mechanisation.
In his contribution, Chairman, Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kaduna Chapter, Alhaji Iliyasu Muazu solicited for increased support to ensure that farmers in the 774 local government areas of the country benefited from the programme. (NAN)
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