President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday the Federal Government has set aside a N600 billion support facility for 2.4 million farmers to boost agricultural production in the country.
He said the farmers can access the loan through the Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS).
The President disclosed this at the opening of the National Agricultural Show/Exhibition of the 2021 World Food Day in Abuja.
Buhari, who was represented at the forum by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Abubakar, said his administration was not resting on its oars in the efforts at addressing the challenges in the country’s agricultural sector.
He said: “The Federal Government, through the Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS), has set aside N600 billion as loan support to farmers across the country.
“No fewer than 2.4 million farmers are expected to benefit from the loan which has zero interest.
“The gesture will support farmers in the country, to improve their productivity aimed at boosting the country’s food security, improving farmers’ production, and increasing exports.
“It is gratifying that the sector is being treated as a business, no longer as a development project, with massive distribution of high-quality farm inputs, dissemination of appropriate research results, and significant enhancement of the agricultural commodity value chains.
“I would wish to reiterate and it is clear that if the agricultural sector must be made more productive and food systems sustainable, we must all be prepared to invest massively in the sector and rise to the call against looming food crisis as predicted by the World Bank, Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), African Development Bank (AfDB) and other key actors in food and agriculture.”
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