The Valued Chain Traders Organisation of Nigeria (VACTON) has commended the Federal Government over the launch of Nigerian-Brazilian Green Imperative initiative, describing it as veritable venture.
According to Amb. (Dr) Ralph John, the National President of the association, who gave the commendation, noted that the Federal Government’s efforts to increase agricultural cultivation through mechanised farming will improve productivity and create employment.
The VACTON presidents said though small scale farmers in Nigeria are still faced with low mechanisation and lack the use of best practices in management, resulting in very low productivity, they produce crops such as rice, cassava, yam and palm oil, among others that sustain the country’s population.
Dr. John said with the obsolete input system and farming models that are largely inefficient, an ageing population of farmers does not have enough seeds, fertilizers, irrigation, crop protection, as well as related support to be successful.
With Nigeria and Brazil having similar environmental conditions and with the Brazilian technological package adopted, the country’s agriculture he said can be transformed, hence the bilateral agricultural cooperation between Nigeria and Brazil.
“The government of Nigeria, as part of its cooperation with Brazil has requested its support to address the technological issues the agricultural sector is facing.
A comprehensive project of agriculture modernisation has been prepared, which considers the use of modern machinery and equipment, quality inputs, improved seed varieties, fertilizers, pesticides and agricultural best practices would be crucial to put Nigerian agriculture in a new technological age,” the VACTON President explained.
Speaking at the event, Chief Audu Ogbe, the Minister of Agriculture, lauded the organisers of the bilateral development programme for the initiative.
He charged Nigeria to hook up to the mechanised agriculture for maximum productivity, Ogbe also noted that the Green
Imperative will generate employment for the people and enhance food production for domestic consumption, as well as export.
The Green Imperative programme estimated to have cost about $1.1bn, took a second fund, where about 300 persons who were divided into nine groups were hosted by the Federal Government and the Nigerian Ambassador.
The theme of the programme was, ‘Looking at the Shareholders, making inputs to a green imperative and how to make Nigerians benefit from it’. This was reported by Independent Newspaper.