The Federal Government has said that it has set aside N600 billion as loans to support 2.4 million farmers across the country through the Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support project, APPEALS.
APPEALS project is a six-year project developed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with the World Bank and other stakeholders.
The project will provide support to small and medium-scale farmers and their cooperative societies through business alliances that will link farmers to off-takers and local processors.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, disclosed this at the opening of the National Agricultural Show/Exhibition of the 2021 World Food Day, on Wednesday, organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Abuja.
The theme of the show is: ” Our Actions Are Our Future. Better Productions, Better Nutrition, A Better Environment And A Better Life.
APPEALS Project was selected during the opening ceremony of the programme to be part of exhibitors on Food Safety Stakeholders Forum, part of 2021 World Food Day Celebration, organised by the ministry in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nation.
The minister said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is not resting on its ores in addressing challenges of the country’s agricultural sector.
“The federal government, through Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) has set aside N600 billion to farmers across the country.
“No fewer than 2.4 million farmers are expected to benefit from the loan, which has zero interest.
“The gesture was to support the farmers across the country to improve their productivity, aimed at boosting the country’s food security, improving farmers’ production and increasing exports.
“It is gratifying That the sector is being treated as business, no longer as a development project with massive distribution of high quality farm inputs, dessimination of appropriate research results and significant enhancement of agricultural commodity value chain.
However, at the closing ceremony of the agricultural show on Friday, the Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in an interview with journalists, said that about 1.2 million farmers would benefit from the APPEALS project intervention.
According to Ganduje, who was represented by his deputy, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, the state is doing well in empowering small holder farmers through some projects, especially APPEALS Project.
He stated that the state government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, is using APPEALS Project to empower farmers through anchors and support them with how to do the processing.
He said “Small holder farmers is what we do in Kano. What we do is to anchor them to the people that we know they have the capacity to do that. There is a programme that we are having now, that is APPEALS. By implication, about 1.2 million farmers are going to be empowered on that.
“They are all going to be empowered under anchors. What we do is that the people that have the strength should come and anchor farmers like 1000, 2000 capacity. When they do that, they pay them with the produce. When they pay them with the produce, they take it into use . We also promote and advise with the issue of processing,” the governor explained.
Kano has won the show as usual after competing with other states on agricultural show 2021, in terms of local government kibiya has won the first position followed by Garko 2nd position and Aginji of Kano came 3rd.
APPEALS Project has been ranked as one of the best agricultural project with high capacity of improving farmers productivity and improved their Livelihood.
APPEALS exhibited improved production, processing and marketing technologies which attracts thousands of people trooping to thePavillion.
The local flat bread with the history of 500 years in Kano city has attracted people from other states to patronised APPEALS Project Pavillion and had expressed satisfaction and made excellent remarks about the wheat local flat bread modernised, enhanced and label by APPEALS Project KNSCO.