Niger State Government through the Niger Foods Security System and Logistics Ltd. has secured a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the Niger State Agricultural and Mechanisation Development Authority (NAMDA) to support small and medium-holder farmers with farm equipment and inputs to boost food production.

The signing of the agreement was presided over by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alh. Abubakar Usman on behalf of Farmer Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago at the Government House, Minna.

The Executive Chairman of Niger Foods, Mr. Sammy Adigun signed on behalf of the State Government while the Managing Director of NAMDA, Muhammad Baba Ali signed for the Agency.

The SSG, Alh. Abubakar Usman said the MoU is in line with the agricultural revolution of Farmer Governor Umaru Bago, explaining that the State Government has invested heavily in Agriculture to boost national policy in food security.

He disclosed that under the agreement, the small, and medium holder farmers would form cooperatives, to assess inputs from Niger foods to boost their yields.

Providing additional detail on the MoU, the Executive Chairman, Niger Foods, Mr Sammy Adigun explained that within the resources of the State government, the agreement will cover for 30,000 hectares in total, comprising 20 hectares for small holder farmers and 10 hectares for medium-holders

He revealed that the focal crops under the agreement are maize, rice, soya and sesame adding that the farmers will be supported with seeds, chemicals, fertilizer and stipends for labour and logistics.

Mr. Adigun said over 1,000 power tillers will be handed over to NAMDA with the estimate that each power tiller will prepare about 25 hectares a month.

He said the target in supporting 30 hectares, is to have about 150,000 tons of food, as one hectare is expected to produce an average of 5 tons and the farmers are to repay with farm produce.

Mr. Adigun emphasised that measures are in place to ensure thorough verification and analysis of beneficiaries, adding that enumeration of beneficiaries will soon commence, using the extension workers of NAMDA as a portal has been built for data gathering and validation.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Alh. Musa Bawa Bosso who described the development as a long-awaited approach, said it will go a long way in boosting the livelihoods of peasant farmers and redirect their minds into seeing agriculture as a business.

The Managing Director NAMDA, Muhammad Ali Baba disclosed that there are thousands of farmers documented in the State and that the pilot scheme of the agreement signed, will focus on community-based farmers who will be mobilized in clusters.

He said extension officers are mobilizing the farmers and will submit their names for verification along with partner banks to make sure they are not indebted and will only be given what they require to prevent challenges of repayment.

The Managing Director also said that the Agency will work with the farmers, association and community leaders, to ensure that only genuine farmers benefit from the scheme.

Bologi Ibrahim
Chief Press Secretary
to the governor of Niger State

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