The Federal Government says it has established an online portal to ensure efficient and effective monitoring of its interventions in the Agricultural Sector.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Nanono, made the disclosure at the 44th Regular Meeting of the National Council of Agriculture and Rural Development on Thursday in Abuja.
Nanono said the initiative would capture the bio data of the farmers and link with geographical information of their farmed plots, crops and the volumes of production in the country.
“Unlike anything that has been done before, we set out to capture the bio data of the farmers and link this with the geographical information of their farmed plots, their crops and the volumes they produce.
“All these will feed into the monitoring and evaluation system of the project so that we can measure impact along the line.
“Although, we initially set out to capture the data of 2.4million farmers across the country, the results from the exercise have encouraged the Economic Sustainability Plan team to expand the data capture to 10 million farmers.
“This database is going to be the platform for government interventions going forward, putting an end to ghost schemes and other unscrupulous practices in the agricultural industry.
“A major hallmark of our agricultural interventions is inclusiveness. We have catered for the youths, women and many demographic considerations in our implementation strategies.
“As a stop gap intervention, we launched the Agric for Food and Jobs Programme originally conceived as an input loan for smallholder farmers across several commodities including maize, rice, cotton, groundnut, sorghum, cowpea, soybean, sesame, cassava and oil – palm.
“The scheme was brought into a partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Commodity Association and Agricultural Platform Companies for effective facilitation.
“This we believe will not only improve production significantly but also aid in the off-taking of produce while providing input at reduced price due to economy of scale.
Nanono said that the challenges brought by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, floods and insecurity had galvanized the government into setting up necessary structure to address infrastructural deficiency, technology gaps, security challenges and extension inadequacy.
“This approach is believed to be the right one for achieving our desired economic diversification and national development,” he said.