The Federal Government has on Thursday unveiled "The Green Imperative", a 10-year agricultural bilateral programme with Brazil, worth $1.2 billion and aimed at creating five million jobs and boosting the agricultural sector and economy, This Day reports.
This was disclosed in a joint statement during a press briefing by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed alongside Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono in Abuja.
According to the statement, the Nigeria-Brazil agricultural development programme will be implemented in the span of 10 years with fundings from Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank, with insurance provided by Brazilian Guarantees and Fund Managements Agency (ABGF) and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit (ICIEC) of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and coordinated by Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV).
The Ministers said, "The Buhari administration is set to revolutionise agriculture in Nigeria through a programme called ‘The Green Imperative, a Nigeria-Brazil Bilateral Agriculture Development Programme. It is the outcome of Nigeria’s decision, dating back to June 6, 2016, to enrol in Brazil’s Government-to-Government More Food International Programme (MFIP).
"Following that decision, and between June 2016 and December 2019, several high level ministerial and technical visits and exchanges have occurred between the two countries. During one of such visits, the Bilateral Protocol of Intention with the government of Brazil was signed in March 2017," they added.
While speaking further on the agricultural programme, the ministers noted that the programme will revolutionalise agriculture in Nigeria with the revamping of six motor assembly plants in the six geopolitical zones in the country, adding that agricultural implements and equipment would be imported with Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts of implements.
Explaining further, the ministers said the programme will establish 142 agro-processing service centres with one centre in each senatorial district and 634 mechanisation service centres to support primary production in the 774 local government areas and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
"This will create 774 service centres nationwide to mechanise our farming methods and process or add value to farm produce locally, leading to efficiency and eliminating post-harvest losses, thereby cutting down the cost of food all year round.
"The private sector operators will operate and manage all the service centres and the assembly plants. The programme will create about five million jobs and inject over $10 billion into the economy within 10 years.
"It will create sustainable supply chain of agricultural raw materials for our large manufacturing companies to source locally, thereby saving billions of US dollars in food-related forex. It will train about 100,000 extension workers within three years," the ministers mentioned.