A total of 134 million dollar loan has been obtained from the Africa Development Bank by the Federal Government to boost wheat production.
Dr Muhammad Mahmoud, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, revealed this in Abuja while briefing State House correspondents on the implementation of the presidential mandate given to the ministry.
According to him, the aim was to save the country from acute scarcity of wheat, whose demand and price had gone high because of the Russia-Ukraine war.
The minister noted that with 250,000 farmers cultivating 250,000 hectares in the 2022 dry season, the initiative would raise wheat production to 750,000 metric tonnes.
He added that the wheat would be cultivated in Jigawa, Kebbi, Kano, Bauchi, Katsina, Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, Gombe, Plateau, Borno, and Yobe, Adamawa, and Taraba states.
He gave the participating states as Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau and Sokoto.
He said the government was implementing the Value Chain Development Programme Additional Financing (VCDP) 2020-2024.
This is to enhance incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in the production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava.
Mahmoud said the project is currently being implemented in nine states including Niger, Benue, Ogun, Ebonyi, Taraba and Anambra, Nasarawa, Kogi and Enugu “to scale up the achievement recorded in the original VCDP states"
The 19 states in the northern part of the country and the FCT are the beneficiaries.
“The project’s objective is to mitigate and build the resilience of Nigerian farmers to climate change.
“The project duration is six years – 2022 to 2028.
“More than one million degraded land will be restored within the six years project cycle,’’ the minister said.
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