The federal Government of Nigeria on Thursday 26th of September said it had registered about 15.5 million farmers under the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES). The scheme will boost agriculture and ensure self-reliance for the farmers, which will help the country in its effort to stop food importation by 2015. Mr Sunday Edibor, the regional director for north central, federal ministry of Agriculture and rural development announced this in minna at a stakeholders meeting he said the states and number of farmers registered between 2012 and 2013 included Niger, 270,000; plateau,360,000 and Benue, 252,000. He said the meeting involved GES and Agricultural Development Project Coordinators in each of the states, agro-allied dealers and suppliers. The state directors of agriculture was also involved in the meeting where the 2013 performance of the scheme in the region was reviewed. The regional director therefore urged rural farmers in the region to register in their various states to ensure their reliance and food security for the country. He also urged urged the farmers to come out to register before the programme concludes in 2015 and that they stand the chance of improving their finances and ensuring food security for the nation.
He also made it known that the stakeholders discussed extensively on the issue of inadequacy of fund and extension workers and that the issue will be dealt with by the ministry in the 2014 budget. Mr. Edibor thereafter thanked the Niger Government for subscribing to the scheme and its agricultural reform programmes. He encourages other states in the region to reproduce the political will of the government to revamp agriculture in their states.