The Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe has revealed Nigeria’s agricultural export earnings has reached over N5billon which is about 180 percent growth in the last one year
The minister said this when the ministry of agriculture signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with John Deere Tractor Manufacturing Company in Abuja on Thursday.
Mr. Audu Ogbe said he is optimistic that the country’s export earning will witness more increase as a result of tractor procurement and mechanization service to be rendered to small-scale farmers through the Ministry’s partnership with John Deere.
He said, “This partnership means greater wealth, more exports for our country. I like to say how proud we are that agricultural exports in the last one year and half have gone up by 180 percent, as we earned well over N5 billion from these exports.
“We are on the way and with your support, we will get there,’’ he said.
On delay in the planned recapitalisation of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) by the federal government, Mr Ogbeh said that designed efforts were being made to restructure the bank in a way that people would no longer be able to take loans and refuse to pay back.
“It is taking so long because we have had to remove an entire management and bring in bankers now. The shareholders are mainly the Federal Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and they said they are ready to give us money.
“The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is doing a new restructuring. Farmers are going to own 30 percent of the shares of BOA.
“And the bank would have a branch in each of the local government areas of the country where they can talk to farmers,’’ he said.
The minister said the newly introduced Agriculture Input and Mechanisation Services (AIMS), which would replace the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme, would soon be launched.
“We will launch the AIMS once our committee submits its report and we will tell you exactly how things will be done.
“We will screen those people who have applied; there will be no question of just fixing names because of any influence.
“AIMS will help to track fake seed companies and distributors because there are a lot of people who still do fake things in agriculture believing that as soon as they supply inputs, nobody can track them,’’ The Minister concluded.