Nigerian government launches green alternative

Africa farming cifaction FlickrYouths will be employed as extension workers at farms. (Image Source: Cifaction/Flickr)Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently announced a plan by Nigeria’s federal government to employ 100,000 youths as extension workers to support services to farmers

At the official launch of the agricultural promotion policy ‘Green Alternative’, Osinbajo said the number of persons to be trained will be picked from 500,000 teachers.

Minister of agriculture and rural development Audu Ogbeh said that the policy is built on five major strategic thrusts that include achievement of self-sufficiency in food production, reduction in import independence, stimulation of agro-export for foreign exchange earnings, enhancement of job creation, and achievement of economic diversification.

Some of the key targets that they seek to achieve within the planned period and beyond, as quick wins under the three pillars, include growing the agriculture sector annually between six per cent to 12 per cent, doubling agricultural household income in six to 12 years, integrating agricultural commodity value chains into the broader supply chain, driving job growth and wealth growth, as well as ensuring enhanced capacity for foreign exchange earnings.

The minister also noted finance as the major hindrance to the development of agricultural sector, as loans for the farmers often quote a double-digit interest rate.

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