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liiEilil 'We can produce W:

t T are the achievements qf the J\grk:ul. tI.:n:il and Rural Management nttining In51 itute(ARMnJ ~ofw? ARMT1 \185 established In 1980. but It started opernUon about ,10 pn!I ago. It ""~ C'Ilabllshed to cater for the pnMsto I d mallpoowa- In lhc: 8fP1Culturai sectoI'" cspedally f'Jf t )t: agrtcu.Itural development projects ror wtUch the Fcdcrnl ~( look 8 loan In the 70s.. By then. UJere ~re 110 qualIfled Nigerians to man..>gt: the projects. so. ARMTI NaS establIShed to train manpowa- ror the ~ ..tne by early 90s. a1I1.he Slates had bettt t'OYCM. So. thc: b I5tI ute tralned managtnI to manage the: ~ and wuhln I he last 30 year& we have tratned ~ :JO,OOO ~ 8 both the mkklk and senior managcr1al ~­ eLs to mlUla lC our agricultural projcC:ts. Do you tltink the Institute hasfulfLlled its nuuulQ-

tu~ TIle Fe:de:raJ ~m ­ ment 15 10 make polk~ and assist U1CfTl with Inputs but bask:ally. agricultural devdopmoll ts one: d the funcUorul or state government. What are th e can · straints focing the Insti-

TIle major constraInt faCing the InsUtute Is shortage or exper1enced staff to train the managcn Some or the slafT who either reUf'ed or resigned from lhe !.ruItllute haw: nOl be.cn re.plaet:d Ix:causc there wa!'I no recrullment elI:~ betWU:n 1992 and 2010 . Between this per1od. !'lOme or our cxperte.nced staff who reUJ't:d haw: not been replaced. Another problem WI: are factng now Is an bladcquate funding Befou 1989. our IralnIng programme had gone bqrood the shan:: of !.hIs counuy and between 1989 and 1995. we luiw: cm'Cred 14 or 15 of the commonwealth countrt(:!l becau!'IC 0( the support we received from the Commonwealth headquaner.>. But In 1995. tJle support was withdrawn 1x:caUM: 01 the poltUcal problem whk:h NI+ gena had under the late General Sanl Allacha_The support has not Ix:cn reslOR:d

.... """,,,'-

ARIonl Is making waves In the OlUfluy. ~ 15 a continuous e..'(cerclsc In the fnsUtulc because people have to upgI ade lhdr knowledge. nus 1:5 what ARMTl has been dDtng ! rom lime to ume. As an ex: ~ in agricultun:. how do you rhink Nigeria can beJOod su.,Uidenl: ex lncrea5e its production? hI N~ troay. majOrtly of agrk:ulturnJ prtlducers are bCJoomlng 011 nnd the young ones an: not ready to expert t:nI:I: the tin Kk"ray In agriculture. lllUclore. Illrn Is Ute nca.I to nlOd=mlsc the practk:e dramlD" bemuse: If ,nodem "w::htn'~ att available to prac:tbe agJ1cuItJ.m!:. !.hen the young (nea will be encouraged to go Into It Abo, ~ Is IlI!Ctl rOl'" the ~~t to ~ commcrda1 agrINJt u-e.. I 'm nul saytng the gt7>'eITlrTIClt slDJId go Into commr""'dal agJiCuItu~ but It should put In place poltcIe5 10 encourage prtnlle bxlMduals 10 go bUD a.mmen:tal famdng because I know U\al Ihe goycmment Is bytng by e:stlbtlshlng pilot conunerdal agt1cUIlUr.lI tb'd· opment proj!Cls wtUch Is now operaUng In ft~ stales rL the kderalkfl GcM:mrn:nt !h:JuId abo put Inf'rasuuctural faclUues In place 10 C: K'OUragt people to IJllnto commc:rt:lal fannIng. ~ bdude: §XXI roads. rural ekctrtlkatkn ~ and modcm s tomge fadUUes and potable water In rural area!! 80 lhal "hen fanners ha~llIldr"prOOuce.1t \\'UUld be easy rur II tern 10 transport product: to the urban area!! ror markrtlnq, TIle p~cnl has aI!Io set aside aboul N200 billion to fund a:JfT1(I1ef'daI agr1cUlture and lIle conditJons t~n'e b-cn spdt out for people 10 acca13 tt.. TIus will also en( OIlrage tncreascd (ood produClJofl because: fannc:rs haVl been gM:n the opportunity to IICCIe5S some farm tnputs at a sub5ktlsed mle under the: agrk:uItural trnnsfonnat)1I1 agenda.. HCJr'JCSlIy. IhlS programme Is qultl: dlffen:nt (rom whal ~ U5Cd to , .... In the past because rarm inputs are ~distrIb'ltOd lhrougb!'lOlllC appointed disbibulors!'lO Iha1l1le InpI. tlS woukI get to the farmcr.J at the appruprt. .<c time. Within tJte lcrstfew years. ,gouenunent has estQb. fished ~ ogricultwul Institutes and unWersfties, yet. food. pmduction Iu:we not been seen to fncrease, 1L>ha1 do YOIl think is WI"'Of1g with our polley on ggricul·

,l'lCS5

...."

I "ill not r~ willi you that our IOod pnxIUCUOO tn· dcx haw: no Incrnsed becaUSt stnoe populaUon e InlR:iISfng. woe hao...:: not had the problem d JOod shortage or a1:sis. W6~ bttn abk: 10 f«d cursd\u and the probicm ""'t: ha\~ Is (hit ...~W! noL bttn able to expon ~ IOod oftk:IaDy. bul WI" people haw: ~ engaged In the Wcg::tJ smUfltl~ of!Cod r:ommodlUcs acro!l8 the ~ without omctnl rtl'(ni. Our problem bl Nigeria 15 that ollndtsclpUnc becausc ourpcopie rue UM:d to Ule habltd~ rood Items to couotJics IU:e Chad. Niger RcpubUc.. C8rner0un and Rcpublk d IIienin. If ~ are disdpHncd enough and W'C: an: abk to trnl'row: 011 the processing or our itod crops such as r1cC and ot.hen! locaUy. within the nttt three years. goo.'eI1 '!Tent tnmsfoonauon agenda will Ix: manto

resung We hao...:: p»ugh faciliUcs to produce wheaL rIct: and cassava and f wtthtn this perIOd. we ~ OUT procIucUOn capacity on these crops lUldcf" tile transCormauan agenda. thm. we will be IOod sufOdcnt and ~ wtll be abk: 10 aport acme cI these agrIcuItwal produce.. What ad&lice do you ~for rhe~ thai: you bd~ would fu!Ip to ~ our ogr£t:ulturpl ....."" 1lle first thing I will say Is lim! IcadcrIiI at various levels d gD\'C:m.Olent fIhouId hi: slnccn: and c:onslsU51L 1bcy

should

~

...-hat they say. they shoukl also aDow a

....----'::M,;S;;;:;;;;,-;j~;y.;;;--...-<.'O;;".;,~':;i,~ "ct that the counuy has retumed to demo-

poIJctcs prqccls to t Ing of abandoning them. projc:d.s c:xccuuon. Ir they meet. a Pftl!Ied on ground. shou1d contrfbule 10 It and make ltlx:ucr. blStead dahandonlng IL The 5t.atc: goycmmcnt st-JJd aJso encourage the ~t d ~ture because It e a ~ projccL 1lte: state should also realise that agrtcultural product1on. is UlCtr re8pX'Islb!lJty and lIle)' l'Ihould not!'ICC lhe FedemI Governmenl as Uldr compcUlor In agrtcul.

craUc system or government. Although. ARM11 Is sUIl training panlclpants from !'lOme Afro-Asia countries. bul this Is part 01 lhc: contnbuuons of Nigeria to the Memorandum of Under.!tandlng {MaUl which Nigeria signed to contribute to the Mro-Astan rural devdopmenl and we have trained participants from 29 countrles In Asia and Mrtca. Some of the partlctpanta came from India. PaTldstan. MauriUus. Egypt. Ghana. Tanmnla and other countries.

GES scheme begins in Ekiti, Zamfara 81' Bode AdewumJ

T

HE Growth En+

""",,",,",8(f1cUltural

aspedaJ !IChemc. of the Federal Gov+

cmmcnt aimed at dellv+ cr1ng subsidised farm inputs to farmer-. directly and faclliialing a shift from sub!'llslenoc to commercial rarming. has klcked-ofr In EklU and Zamfam stales• In Ek1U. tbe scheme started recently wttb the staLe pc:rnrr.:nt support+ tng rarntCr.! with Ule rcrt1I+ izcI' and seed d1strfbutlon ~o.-er400fann·

ers

ha~ so

~

ferWIzt::rs I:ias«t 011 the electronic valldaUOn prot'CM. In Zamfara. the scheme also started recently with the Cotton Seed Multiplication Programme 8z::td over 3.400 farmers recdved fcTUliu:r.! USfg Ule spedal ele.clroni valldaUon pro=s. Under the EklU State programme. each registered fanner"ul reed\'(: a support of N I 0,500 from government Bnd bCneOClarles are expected to match the government provl!'lk)o with their own far

NIO.500. Eachfannerwlll recetve two bags of ferUlIzer and two bags of!'IeCds. Con sequenUy.the government Is providing 50 per cen t subsidy on ferUl tzcr to fanner.!. TIle Commissioner for Ag:rk:uIlure in EkltJ State. Mr. Jlde Arowusafe. CJ[~ delight al the racl that GES Is starting In his stale. noUng that government will provide all that Is needed to ensure the succes/J of Ule scheme In order to achieve Its lY;sire or boosung agrlcultural development In the state. In EkIU. the GES sc.heme Is a state-wide roUoul. involvtng 16 lcx:alions sim ultaneously In aU lhe local government areas. Sofar58.000rarmers have been rcglstered for the scheme to EkJU willi 35.1XlO of' them bav+ Ing valid mobile phone numlxrs wlu:reby they can be Idenllrted a nd reached unJquely. GES, as eovtskn"Jd by thecum:nt Mln1sterdAgr1cuJlure and RunlJ dcvdopmenl. Dr. Aldnwuml Adcstna. prtmar1y alm was to deliver s ubeldlSed ler+ UUzer to farmers: em+ power them to lnCl'CUe

lhcIT yIdd and encourage a shJft from subslstence to commerdal rarmlng bMedOllanelectrnnk:rql+ Istratton and valtdatlon process. 1l seeks to make agrk:u1~ Into agrI+busl+ ness and shift the Illindsct of Ntgerta.ns from agr1C+ projects to agrt4Ju5InCSS. Under the GES Scheme. an aeercdlted farmer will receive fertlltser aJtocollon Ulrough an e-wallet that hasl!'! a unklue voucher number (0 voucher num+ ber l!'I avaUable for all fann Inputs COJllprtalng fe:rt.1lJx.cr and sceds+ avaUablethroug,hlheGESprognun) sent to hls or her phone. The rccIplentlhen redeems the voudJer for farm Inputs at subskll5ed rules after paying the topup to specially appotnted agro-dealcrs. It W111 be recaUed that CdJulanl Nigerla. a m obile c:ommttee network 0perator reee:n.Uy WQI] a c:ontr.Ict 10 design. da-dop and operate the technology platform for the Ntgcrtan gqye:mmcnt's Growth Enbancement Support Scheme IGES). Government contraded CeUulant to help bulId an efficient

d1strlbutlon channel to dr:+ liver fc:rtll1zer to fanner.!. Speaktng on the successful Inauguration of Ule 5Cheme In EkiU and Zamfara States. Mr. BoIaJI Aklnboro. the Execuuve Dln::dor'. Spedal Project5. Cellullant Corporation Umttcd, said the scheme: had proved that technol + ogy can help Improve the process O(devcJopment in Nigeria. He saki. -It Is a great joy for U!'I that GES has klcked-ofJ at la.!'lt in Ntgeria and fanners arc now dIrtttly gctting fcrti1iz.cnJ in thdr hands. BUI one the real gains or this progrnmme ls that It has been p r oven beyond a shadow of doubt, lhat It ts pdsslble for government to ldentJfy an Indtvidual and deliver benefits to that JJe.nKm wlth+ out passing through a mJddle man.· BolaJI. a benencJary. dcscr1bcd the achctnc as a very unique one that can change the face d agricultural assi5tance from governmenl In Ntgerta. Mean.... hlle. Anamhra and Bauc hl slates are expected to klck-slart the scheme soon.

or

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE, 12 JUNE, 2012  

'We can produce enough rice, wheat to feed our people'

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