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Rice, cassava, others raise government’s revenue by N778bn

By on November 5, 2014

The country has earned N778bn as revenue from the production of five crops under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, the Federal Government has said.

It listed the crops as maize, rice, cassava, sorghum and soya bean.

The ATA was inaugurated in 2012 by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said this on Monday in Abuja during a forum organised by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs.

He said the country made N259bn from the production of maize, N407bn from rice, N94bn from cassava, N5bn from sorghum and N13bn from soya bean.

Adesina said the government was able to put an end to 40 years of corruption in the fertilizer sector, a development that impacted positively on the production of various agricultural crops.

He said, “The old system of government direct procurement and distribution of fertilizer was corrupt. Between 1980 and 2010, over N873bn ($5.4bn) was spent on fertilizer subsidies. No more than 11 per cent of farmers received the fertilizer.

“Over N776bn ($4.8bn) was estimated to have been lost to corruption or an average of N26bn ($162.5m) annually. The system displaced the private sector and Nigerian farmers lost dignity.”

He added that the government had built a national database of 10.5 million farmers with participation from every state of the federation.

Adesina observed that the Growth Enhancement Scheme for the farmers had increased the number of those who got fertilizer from 11 per cent to 92 per cent.

He said, “A total of 1.3 million metric tonnes of fertilizer has been delivered to farmers and 55,000 metric tonnes of improved seeds have been delivered to farmers. Nigeria is the first in Africa to deliver inputs to farmers on a large scale through the e-wallet.

“Also, food imports declined by 38 per cent from N1.1tn in 2009 to N635bn in 2013.”