The Federal Government is targeting 5 million jobs with its new agricultural revolution scheme tagged: “The Green Imperative”.
It plans to invest some $1.2 billion in the scheme which in turn is expected to inject back $10 billion into the economy within the next 10 years.
According to the FG, the scheme will attract six tractor assembly plants in the nation’s 6 geopolitical zones and 142 agro processing service centres.
It will be implemented over a period of 5-10 years with foreign funding which was described as “loan-in-kind” by the FG.
Information, Culture and Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed and Agriculture and Rural Development counterpart Sabo Nanono gave the details of the programme at a joint briefing in Abuja this week.
Mohammed said, “The stage is now set for an agricultural revolution that will strengthen food security, create massive jobs, transfer technology, revive or reinvigorate many assembly plants, strengthen the economy, save scarce resources, mechanize farming and lead to the emergence of value-added agriculture, among other benefits.
The Vice President launched “The Green Imperative” programme officially on 17 January, 2019 in the presence of the representatives of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Deutsche Bank as well as Brazilian and Nigerian private sector.
The programme, worth $1.2 billion, is to be implemented over a period of 5-10 years with funding from the Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank; with insurance provided by Brazilian Guarantees and Fund Managements Agency (ABGF) and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit (ICIEC) of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and coordinated by Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV).
“The Green Imperative” programme will bring the following developments to the country:
▪Reactivation of six motor assembly plants in the six-geopolitical zones of the country for assembling tractors and other implements. The programme will import the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts of about 5,000 tractors and numerous implements (for local assembly) annually for a period of 10 years.
▪Establishment of 142 agro processing service centres for value addition, with one centre in each senatorial district.
▪Establishment of 632 mechanisation service centres to support primary production in the 774 local government areas and the Federal Capital Territory. This will create 774 service centers nationwide to mechanize our farming methods and process or add value to farm produce locally, leading to efficiency and eliminating post-harvest losses, thereby cutting down cost of food all year round.
▪Private sector operators will operate and manage all the service centres and the assembly plants.
▪The programme will create about five million jobs and inject over $10 billion into the economy within 10 years. It will create sustainable supply chain of agricultural raw materials for our large manufacturing companies to source locally, thereby saving billions of dollars in food-related forex.”
Other benefits accruable from the programme include:
•Training of 100,000 extension workers within three years; impacting over 35 million persons nutritionally and economically;
•Revatilisation of research and extension service delivery through a five-year technology-package transfer component;
•Transfer of technology from Brazil’s manufacturers and institutions to Nigeria.
“The Green Imperative”, is a Nigeria-Brazil Bilateral Agriculture Development Programme. It is the outcome of the PMB led FG decision, dating back to 6 June 2016, to enroll in Brazil’s Government-to-Government More Food International Programme (MFIP).
Following that decision, and between June 2016 and December 2019, several high level ministerial and technical visits and exchanges occurred between the two countries. During one of such visits, the Bilateral Protocol of Intention with the government of Brazil was signed in March 2017.
The programme design was jointly done by Nigeria and Brazil. In the course of the programme design, the Brazilian technical mission visited Nigeria and met with rural small-holder farmers. The Nigerian technical team also embarked on a study tour of three African countries (Ghana, Kenya and Senegal) where MFIP is being implemented to study their challenges as well as their successes or failures.
The Nigerian technical team has also visited the selected assembly plants in the six geopolitical zones to determine in-country capacity to handle the assembly of a CKD-based programme of this magnitude.