Dwindling oil prices has made it an imperative for the oil-dependent Nigerian economy to find alternative means of incoming generation for the Nation. Among other efforts to diversify the economy, the push for the revival of the agricultural sector has been on the front line.
In an effort to increase participation in the sector, the Government has developed initiatives, mapped out strategies, offered incentives and support.
Here are 5 incentives the Nigerian Government offers in order to promote agriculture:
- Loads and Grants
The current administration has made available funds that can be assessed by farmers for farming. The Federal of Agriculture has made available 65.9million dollars in the Fund Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN). The fund is being managed and disbursed by Saphel Capital.
Another Government loan by the Central Bank of Nigeria, to be made available to all the 36 States in the Federation. The fund called the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk sharing in Agricultural Lending(NIRSAL) is a private public partnership venture.
The Bank of Agriculture is an Institution dedicated to making funds available to farmers at low-interest rates. Farmers intending to access loans through the Bank of Agriculture are required to own an account with the Bank and have an account balance that is up to 20% of the funds they wish to borrow, amongst other conditions.
- Training and re-training of Farmers.
The Government has invested heavily in the training of Farmers in the country. Rural farmers are trained on modern farm practices, new techniques, use of farm equipment, use of hybrid, improved seedlings, cross breeding, etc.As part of the Government’s effort in increasing citizens participation in Agriculture, individuals who have no prior farming experience or knowledge are trained, certified and equipped with starter-packs to set-up at their various locations.
Pieces of training like these are organized regularly and interested individuals can participate without paying a fee.
- Lease of Agricultural Equipment.
In other to encourage large scale farming, the Government make available heavy agricultural machinery, such as tractors, tillers, heavy plough, sprayer, etc.These heavy-duty equipment are leased to farmers at subsidized prices. In some States, the lease is handled by the Ministry of Agriculture or the Ministry of Works. All a farmer needs to do is to apply, requesting for use of any of the machines. Then pay the subsidized fee.
- Distribution of Fertilizers and pesticides.
In other to increase yield and reduce damage to crop to pests, the Government makes available fertilizers and pesticides for distribution to farmers. The fertilizers and pesticides are either distributed for free or sold at highly subsidized rates.
- Provision of improved seedlings.
The Government makes available good, improved seedlings that yield good harvest within a short period of time.There are varieties of seedlings, each with its own characteristics. Some take more time between planting and harvest but yield a greater harvest. Some take less time and can be cultivated and harvested different times within a year, making it a better variety of commercial ventures.