Federation of Agricultural Commodities Associations of Nigeria (FACAN) said it is targeting 10 million jobs yearly with its planned rural agricultural revival campaign.
The initiative aims to benefit up to 200,000 households in some communities, with special attention being given to ensure that women and youth are included in the scheme.
Speaking with The Nation, its President Dr Victor Iyama said FACAN is determined to boost farm productivity nationwide to arrest gross underemployment in rural communities.
He stressed that agriculture offers great opportunities to drive development and raise living standards for millions of people.
Since over 70 percent of Nigerians live in rural area and depend on agriculture for their livelihood, he said FACAN is seeking grants from donors to promote farm economic opportunities to slow social mobility out of agricultural occupations.
He said the association is seeking funds to enable it to provide affordable finance for tractors, threshers, combine harvesters and other equipment to thousands of farmers across the country.
He said the national rural agriculture renewal campaign will involve the development of farm settlements, alongside implementing various skill development initiatives to cater to the requirements of the sector.
Iyama said it was important farmers continue to grow the diversity of markets.
He said the association is going to work with farmers in the rural communities to create a gateway for them connect with the huge opportunities emerging in the market.
He noted that, despite remaining challenges, the Government had taken huge strides in recent years to improve rice production.
He added, however, that the government needs to join forces with the private sector to enhance rice productivity, by providing equipment and processing machines to improve food security and farmers’ livelihoods.
According to him, the rice sector needs to increase plant capacity and establish a new position as a rice exporter in the world.
For this to be achieved, he said farmers must be empowered with processing machines, such as paddy huskers and rice milling machines.
He said FACAN would help producers, processors and exporters improve their productivity, quality of production, and capacity to biosecurity requirements.
According to him, export opportunities make an important contribution to the economic growth and the livelihoods of people.
Culled from AgroBusiness Times