Minister of Agriculture, Professor Akinwunmi Adesina, yesterday said his ministry is targeting over five million farmers in its Gross Enhancement Support (GES) programme.
The minister stated this at the opening of 2013 cropping scheme meeting organized by Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
Professor Adesina, who was represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agricultural Extension, Dr. Damilola Eniaiyeju, said the essence of GES was to distribute fertilizer directly to genuine farmers across the country with a view to enhancing productivity. He observed that the efforts yielded positive results last year. Adesina called on research institutes, like IAR, to brace up to the challenges of meeting the needs and aspirations of Nigerian farmers by coming up with researches that would enhance yields and productivity.
In his speech, Vice Chancellor of ABU, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, said there was no other way to national food sufficiency, food security and sustainable economic growth without calibrating the right policies, attitudes and investment.
Earlier, the Director, IAR, Professor Ahmed Falaki, said that despite financial constraints, the institute has resolved to renew its vision and carefully articulate it’s research strategies.