The Federal Government has said that the 2016/2017 Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES), dry season farming will focus on rice, wheat, maize and groundnuts as major crops.
This was contained in a statement obtained from the official website of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development by the Special Adviser to the Minister on New Media, Aishat Onusi.
According to the statement, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, Dr. Shehu Ahmed gave the hint at the opening ceremony of the GES Stakeholders Preparatory Meeting for 2016/2017 Dry Season Farming in Abuja.
He explained that lessons learnt from the implementation of the 2016 wet season GES would be addressed in order to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the 2016/2017 dry season GES programme.
According to him, the season covered twelve pilot states including Adamawa, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano Katsina, Kogi, Imo, Rivers, Sokoto, Zamfara and Federal Capital Territory.
The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director-General National Seed Council, Dr. Philip Ojo said measures to ensure effective and efficient implementation include the use of tablet devices as a means of redemption by farmers in order to eliminate double redemption and sharp practices.
The statement further stated that the remaining outstanding claims of agro –dealers and input suppliers are currently being reconciled for payment while the Memorandum of Understanding on the payment of the Interest Draw Down (IDD) upon which loans will be given to the agro- dealers and input suppliers between the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry would be endorsed.
He said the input packages from the targeted crops would be available at redemption centres to ensure maximum output
He informed that a total number of 1,500,580 farmers are targeted to be supported under value chain crops in the 2016/2017 dry season as follow: rice -1,197,240 farmers, maize – 65,055 farmers, wheat – 234,445 farmers and groundnut – 3,840 farmers.
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