The Nigerian government has declared that a new initiative named Green Imperative valued at $1.2 billion, under the Nigeria-Brazil Bilateral Agriculture Development Programme, will revolutionise the agriculture sector in the country.
Lai Mohammed, the Information and Culture Minister, gave the revelation at a joint media conference he anchored alongside Sabo Nanono, the Minister of Agriculture, in Abuja Thursday.
The programme, a product of Nigeria’s resolution in June 2016 to partake in Brazil’s Government-to-Government More Food International Programme, will be executed between five to ten years and bankrolled by the Development Bank of Brazil and Deutsche Bank, according to Mr. Mohammed.
Underwriting will come from Brazilian Guarantees and Fund Management Agency, and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit of the Islamic Development Bank and coordinated by Getulio Vargas Foundation.
“Since 2015, the Buhari administration has been working hard to bring about irreversible change in many sectors and to diversify the economy away from oil.
“The many unprecedented programmes embarked upon by the administration have touched the power sector and food security, especially production of rice, a national staple, through the Anchor Borrower’s Programme.
“The stage is now set for an agricultural revolution that will strengthen food security, create massive jobs, transfer technology, revive or reinvigorate many assembly plants, strengthen the economy, save scarce resources, mechanise farming and lead to the emergence of value-added agriculture, among other benefits,” the information minister said.
The scheme aims to achieve revival of six motor assembly plants in the six geopolitical zones of the country for assembling tractors and other implements, and facilitate importation of completely knocked down parts of nearly 5,000 tractors as well as several implements (for local assembly) yearly for ten years.
Mechanisation service centres totalling 632 are to be created to encourage primary production in Nigeria’s 774 local government areas including the Federal Capital Territory.
Mohammed said the programme would produce around five million jobs and contribute $10 billion to the economy in 10 years.
The agriculture minister stated that the initiative would be private sector-oriented as government’s involvement would be centred on guaranteeing the loan.