The Growth Enhancement Scheme has reduced the corruption in the agric sector, the official said.
The Federal Government has saved more than N25 billion since the introduction of the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme for farmers in 2012, an agriculture ministry official has said.
Ibukun Odusote, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, disclosed this on Thursday in Katsina at a meeting with stakeholders drawn from the northern states and Abuja.
Represented by Eneyanju Damilola, the Director of Agriculture Extension Services, Ms. Odusote said the funds would have gone into contracts for the supply of fertilizers and seeds.
Ms. Odusote said a total of 4.2 million farmers were registered in 2012 under the scheme and that additional five million farmers were being targeted this year.
She said that the GES programme was a cost-sharing scheme between the farmers and the government.
According to her, N15 billion was spent on the programme in 2012 out of which farmers contributed N7.5 billion, state governments N3.75 billion and the federal government N5 billion.
The permanent secretary said the fertilizer companies sold N15 billion worth of the commodity directly to farmers and N1.5 billion worth of seeds last year.
“Within 120 days of launch of GES, over 1.2 million farmers successfully redeemed their seeds and fertilizer using the electronic wallet system.
“Over 90 per cent of the beneficiaries were from the northern states, while the remaining percentage of the beneficiaries, were from the south and this was due to the early start of rains as farmers had planted before the programme was launched.”
She said that the meeting was to appraise the success of the scheme in 2012 and the preparations for the new farming season.
In a message, Musa Adamu, Katsina State Commissioner for Agriculture, represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Garba Sanda, said the state government had created a workable arrangement for the implementation of the GES programme.
He, however, complained that only 80,000 registration forms were released to the state, saying it was grossly inadequate.
The commissioner called on the ministry to provide more registration forms and to extend the registration period to enable more farmers to participate.
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