Posted by News Express | 2 June 2018 | 3,339 times
Niger State Government has said it would empower 1,000 youths with N1.5 billion set aside by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme in the state.
The state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Honourable Haruna Nuhu Dukku, disclosed this on Friday in Minna, the state capital, shortly after the weekly state executive council meeting.
He said the federal government initiated scheme targets to empower over 21,000 youth in farming of three mandated crops – Rice, Soyabeans and Maize in the next 6 years in the 25 local government areas of the state.
To this end, the Commissioner said 1,250 hectares of land has been cleared in five local government areas of the state to serve as pilot scheme for the project.
According to Dukku, “The federal government intervention through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was designed to empower youths across the country, with the sum of N1.5 billion set aside for each of the 36 states to engage the youths in farming.
“We have keyed into the project and we have cleared over 1,000 hectares of land in Rijau, Mokwa, Borgu, Tagwai and Gwada to kick-start the scheme in the state while plans are rife to extend the scheme to the remaining 20 local government areas of the state.”
Under the scheme, each of the 1,000 youth is to be granted between N400,000 to N500,000 and allocated one hectare of land for the cultivation of any of the mandated crop while government will provide beneficiaries with improved seedlings and other inputs that will aid and improve farm yield.
He further said that government has already cleared the land to be allocated while it has also perfected arrangement with off-takers of the farm produce in order to encourage the young farmers and ensure returns for their investment.
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