A scheme to empower farmers and promote Agro business in the country has been inaugurated in Abuja.
The scheme, known as the Smart Farmer, is targeted at linking farmers with critical players in the agricultural value chain within and outside the country aimed at improving productivity.
The scheme which is an ICT-based initiative of the National Director of Employment,NDE, requires farmers to register online on a designated portal for sampling of their products.
It provides an opportunity for buyers and sellers in Agro business to access farm produce for business purposes.
Inaugurating the scheme, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Ngige, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Clement Illoh, said the initiative would boost local manufacturing,provide succour, employment opportunities for the poor, vulnerable and as well as other programmes that would ensure that the gloomy picture which economic recession has cast over the nation is quickly removed.
The Minister said: “What we are witnessing today is another deliberate effort by the National Director of Employment,NDE,to compliment the efforts of President Mohammed Buhari at fighting unemployment and providing the much needed impetus to revive the economy.
In an address, the Acting Director General,NDE, Mr. Kunle Obayan, said it was time for the country to initiate programmes that would attract the youths to participate in Agriculture.
Some stakeholders,including the Special Adviser to the Benue State governor on food security,Mrs. Dorcas Ukpe and a farmer from Zamfara state, Alhaji Kabiru Haidare expressed the hope that the programme would address post harvest loss in the country.
Six states of the federation drawn from each of the geo-political zones will be used for the pilot scheme.