Kano State Government, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, commenced the National Agricultural Growth Scheme & Agro Pocket (NAGS-AP) in five states: Kano, Niger, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Jigawa.
The program, known as the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme Phase One (ATASP-1), was launched today (Monday) by Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf at Bunkure Local Government Secretariat, Kano.
During the launch, Deputy Governor Comr. Aminu Abdussalam Gwarzo who represented the Governor announced that communities from Bunkure, Rano, Bagwai, Dawakin Kudu, Bebeji, and Garun Malam Local Government Areas in Kano State will benefit from ATASP-1.
According to a statement issued to newsmen by Press Secretary to the Deputy, Governor Ibrahim Garba Shuaibu said Governor Abba revealed the program aims to provide essential farming implements and inputs like fertilizers, seeds, and agrochemicals through an ICT-based delivery platform.
Adding that the initiative also gears towards reducing post-harvest losses and adding value to local agricultural produce by enhancing farmers access to financial services, enabling them to support their agricultural ventures effectively.
In his address, the National Program Coordinator of ATASP-1, Ibrahim Muhammad Arabi, revealed the key outcomes of the program, including the creation of 120,000 jobs, a 25% increase in incomes for farmers and rural entrepreneurs, and training and empowerment of 40,000 youths and women in various agricultural enterprises.
Adding that the program targets the production of 20,000 metric tons of major food crops annually for five years.
“The Productivity Enhancement Component of ATASP-1 focuses on the development of the Value Chain of mandate crops, namely Cassava, Rice, and Sorghum Value Chain” Arabi disclosed.
Also speaking, Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, stressed the significance of the launch, which marks the start of delivering subsidized inputs to around 60,000 farmers in participating states, including Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Niger.
“The program is structured into three key deliverables: Infrastructural Development, Commodity Value Chain Development, and Program Management and Coordination” Ernest disclosed.
Dr. Umakhihe also highlighted the importance of ensuring access to quality agricultural inputs like fertilizers, seeds, and pesticides to achieve improved agricultural production.