Nigeria secures $134 million loan from AfDB to boost wheat production

The federal government secured a $134 million loan from the African Development Bank to boost wheat production. Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Muhammad Mahmoud said this in Abuja, while briefing House of Representatives correspondents on the implementation of the presidential mandate given to the ministry. He explained that the goal was to save the country from the acute shortage of wheat, the demand for and price of which had increased due to the war between Russia and Ukraine. The minister noted that with 250,000 farmers cultivating 250,000 hectares in the 2022 dry season, the initiative would lift wheat production to 750,000 metric tons. Wheat, he said, would be grown in Jigawa, Kebbi, Kano, Bauchi, Katsina, Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, Gombe, Plateau, Borno and Yobe, Adamawa and Taraba states. The minister said the federal government had deployed 5,000 agricultural rangers from the Nigerian Civil Defense Corps to protect farmers facing security challenges. He said about 3.6 million indirect jobs had been created from the $2.4 billion in externally funded projects being implemented by the Buhari administration. He said $538 million has been approved for special agricultural processing zones to support inclusive and sustainable agricultural development in Nigeria. According to him, another $575 million project is being implemented to improve rural access and agricultural marketing in participating states. He added that the government was also strengthening the financial institutional base for the effective development, maintenance and management of the rural road network. He gave the participating states as Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau and Sokoto. He said the government was implementing the Value Chain Development Program (VCDP) Additional Financing 2020-2024. This is to improve the income and food security of poor rural households engaged in the production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava. Mahmoud said the project is currently being implemented in nine states, including Niger, Benue, Ogun, Ebonyi, Taraba and Anambra, Nasarawa, Kogi and Enugu “to extend the achievement recorded in the original VCDP states.” He said the Agroclimatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes Project, a $700 million project, is being implemented by three ministries; Environment, Agriculture and Water Resources. The 19 states in the north of the country and the FCT are the beneficiaries. “The objective of the project is to mitigate and build the resilience of Nigerian farmers to climate change. “The duration of the project is six years, from 2022 to 2028. “Over a million degraded lands will be restored within the six-year project cycle,” the minister said. Mahmoud said the government’s foresight in introducing measures to stave off the effects of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict had paid off. He stressed that despite the challenges, which had slowed the global economy, Nigeria is not experiencing a significant food crisis. (YAYA) Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; Nigeria secures $134 million loan from AfDB to boost wheat production