FG’s anchor borrowers scheme, other programmes revolutionizing Nigeria’s agric sector-Minister

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By: Bamidele Fashube

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative are revolutionizing agriculture in Nigeria.

The Minister stated this in Birnin Kudu, Jigawa State, when he led a Federal Government delegation on an inspection of Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Limited.

He said the Anchor Borrowers Programme, which was launched by the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria, in 2015 to boost the nation’s agricultural sector, has catalysed the production of crops such as rice, maize, wheat and tomato, among others, and boosted local production as well as conserved the nation’s foreign exchange through marked reduction in importation.

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“Then, there is the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, which is aimed at stimulating local production of NPK fertilizer by reviving moribund fertilizer plants and the local blending fertilizer industry, making fertilizer available to Nigerian farmers at affordable prices and saving $200 million in foreign exchange and N60 billion in budgetary provision for fertilizer subsidy, and of course creating thousands of jobs in the process,” added.

He commended the foresight of the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, for keying into the initiatives, thus attracting private investments like the Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Limited, to his state.

“With these and the ingenious programmes of the state government, Jigawa is a shining example of the success of the Federal Government Agricultural Revolution. I implore other farmers and other states to take advantage of the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative to revolutionize agriculture in their areas,” he said.

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The Minister commended the Chairman of Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Limited, Alhaji Faruk Adamu Aliyu, for his massive investment not just in agriculture but in tourism by hoisting the tallest national flag pole on the farm, which will go a long way in attracting tourists to Birnin Kudu.

“Today’s visit is a double-barrelled one, aimed at showcasing successes in agriculture as well as in tourism. Malam Farouk has, as they say, used one stone to kill two birds. Not only is he showcasing success in agriculture, he is also helping to make Jigawa a choice destination for tourists by erecting the tallest Nigerian flag pole in the country. This is good thinking for which I commend him,” he said.

In his remarks, the Chairman of Malam Alu Agro Allied Company Limited, Alhaji Faruk Aliyu, said the 70-hectare sprawling complex is involved in poultry farming with 120,000 layers and broilers, dairy with 400 heads of cattle, a 40-tonne per hour fertilizer blending plant, and a greenhouse that produces between 15 and 20 tonnes of tomatoes weekly among other farm products.

“This is all in furtherance to uniting the country and making our people believe in our country,” he said.

The Minister was accompanied on the visit by the Directors-General of the National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari; Nigerian Television Authority, Mallam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed; Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Dr. Mansur Liman; Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Mr. Folarin Coker and the National Commission for Museum and Monuments, Prof. Abba Isa Tijani.

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