No fewer than 110, 642 genuine farmers from communities in all the 62 wards of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been captured in the Federal Government’s Growth Enhancement Support Touch and Pay (GES tap) programme, as part of efforts to boost agricultural sector in the Territory.
Out of this figure, 92, 418 farmers with verifiable identification were duly registered and issued a green card while the balance 16,224 farmers had no genuine form of identification but were accommodated in the programme and issued black cards.
According to the minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, who made this disclosure yesterday, at the flag off Ceremony of the 2014 GES Programme, in Kuje area council, FCT.
Akinjide said the registered farmers on the platform are ready redeem their farm inputs of two bags fertilizers at 50 percent subsidy and 10kg of maize of rice at 90 percent with ease for the current season.
She noted that the registration was not without its challenges but ensured that only genuine farmers were registered under the new technology which has proved dependable in rural communities.
The minister said there are abundant opportunities for investment for investment in the areas of agricultural land clearing and tractor hiring services, cold stores and cooling warehouse fortress and perishable food items value addition on crop, fishery, meat and dairy processing.
She therefore tasked the private sector to take advantage of the enabling environment by the government to participate more actively in the development of agriculture in the territory.
Earlier in her remark, the Secretary of the FCT- Agricultural and Rural Development Secretariat, Olvadi Bema Madayi, said the e-wallet system using GSM technology captured 92, 143 farmers, being about 82 percent out of the 111, 276 of the GES National Data base.
Madayi said in line to the transformation agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s led Federal government, the FCT Administration is determined to attain remarkable achievement in the agricultural sector.
According to her, the FCTA has signed on to the Nigeria Incentive Based Risk sharing in Agricultural Lending System (NIRSAL) programme being promoted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
On his part, Dr. Charles Momo, a director in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed that 40, 000 farmers have redeemed their input in the third week of redemption inputs.
He pointed out that the 90 percent subsidy of the inputs has reduced the cost of the maize and rice inputs from N1, 800 and N2, 700 to N200 and N310 respectively.
The director called on that farmers to take advantage of the fertilizers which has also been subsidized from N5, 500 for NPK and Urea for which the farmers are expected to pay N2,750 each.