By Mohammed Kandi
The UK Department for International Development (DFID-UKAID) has approved the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme, which is Federal government’s flagship plan to reach out to rural farmers under the ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).
This is contained in a study titled: “FCT Farmers’ Report Card”, conducted by the Federal Public Administration Reform Programme Nigeria (FEPAR), as part of programmes being implemented by a consortium led by Atos Consulting UK and sponsored by the DFID-UKAID.
The study examined the gaps and issues in service delivery experienced by farmers registered under the scheme in 2012/2013, and was carried out between 16 December 2013 and 20 January 2014.
The respondents in the study were farmers 98% of the farmers, who gave their approval of the scheme out of a total of 533 farmers surveyed, were registered under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s GES scheme in the FCT.
The report found that, 98% of farmers were pleased with the scheme.
It further stated: “94% of farmers found it easy to access inputs, particularly when compared to pre-GES period.”
“77% of the farmers surveyed stated that inputs received under GES scheme improved their crop yields
“56% found it difficult to make complaints to FMARD on poor services,” it explained.
The study, however, noted that some farmers from the focus group discussions complained of lateness in the commencement of redemption process, thereby causing late arrival of inputs to farmers for the planting season.
Similarly, 58 per cent of non-GES farmers surveyed stated that they were not aware of the GES scheme.