An endeavor has been made by the Federal Government to alleviate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on food production in Nigeria, the government started the dissemination of agricultural inputs to farmers nationwide.

According to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the move would enhance agricultural production and avert food scarcity in 2021.

It said in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday that the inputs distributed to smallholder farmers included various varieties of seeds of rice, maize, wheat and palm seedlings.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, inaugurated the distribution exercise in Kaduna.

He stated, “The Federal Government will continue to support smallholder farmers with relevant inputs through associations and cooperatives to ensure that the country does not experience food shortages as a result of the pandemic.

“Rice farmers through the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria will receive support worth about 270 metric tonnes and 300MT of certified seeds of FARO 66 and 300MT of foundation seeds of flood- tolerant rice varieties of FARO 66 and FARO 67.”

He added, “The ministry is also distributing 26MT of certified wheat seeds to wheat farmers, 1,350 maize production kits and 18,517Kg of Aflasafe to ensure that the maize produced is aflatoxin-free.”

Nanono said the association was expected to distribute the seeds to its members nationwide for the 2020 cropping season.

Source: https://punchng.com/fg-distributes-agricultural-inputs/

Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) to benefit from the 50 Billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF)

The Central Bank of Nigeria, in its efforts to assist and provide cashflow to individuals and businesses adversely affected during the Covid-19 lockdown, has introduced the 50 Billion Targeted Credit Facility (TCF).

This scheme which is supported by the Abuja Enterprise Agency, is expected to reach out about 3,256 individuals and businesses.

Follow these quick steps to access the fund:

  1. Submit an application to Nirsal Microfinance Bank via your phone, tablet and laptop, with clear evidence of the opportunity or adverse impact of the Pandemic.
  2. Await approval of your application by NIRSAL and the Central Bank

If your application is approved by the Central Bank, then the process of disbursement will be communicated to you by NIRSAL Microfinance Bank.

To begin your application, visit nmfb.com.ng

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development inaugurates task force to avert food crisis

A few weeks ago, the Federal Government reduced the price of fertilizer from N5,500 to N5,000, reduced the price of fuel, increased the moratorium period on loans and also reduced the interest rate from 9% to 5%.

These measures were put in place to cushion the adverse effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and reduce some burden on Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), especially those whose businesses had to be put on hold due to the lockdown.

For the MSMEs in the Agricultural sector and value chain, activities have to carry on in order to prevent food shortages which will further add to the lingering issue of hunger and poverty in the country.

However, farmers and others involved in the Agricultural value chain currently have to deal with;

  • High cost of transportation of farm produce and other goods
  • Inadequate finance for commercial agriculture
  • Theft of farm produce on the transportation routes
  • Restrictions on movement of goods due to the lockdown and many others.

Consequently, the losses posed by the challenges are transferred to the consumers in form of high prices, affordable to some and outside the means of others.

The good news is that, the appropriate Ministries and Agencies have geared up towards tackling these challenges to ease the fears of food insecurity in the country.

Recently, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono inaugurated the joint technical task team on emergency response to COVID-19 with the aim of facilitating free and unhindered movement of food, livestock and agricultural inputs and farmer’s movement across the nation, during the lockdown and the 2020 farming season to avert food crisis.

Therefore, it is safe to say that losses incurred by farmers will lessen soon and the purchasing power of food, livestock and agricultural inputs for every household .

Covid-19 Stimulus Package: Stabilizing the economy amidst the pandemic

The Corona virus pandemic remains the top headline in all media channels, affecting the old and young and causing a downturn in economic activities around the World.

However, to reduce the spread of the virus and track those that might be carrying the virus in Nigeria, the Federal Government imposed a 14-day lockdown in few states including the FCT, which began on the 30th of March 2020.

Consequently, the lockdown has taken a toll on the activities of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as consumption habits have changed and only certain categories of businesses are allowed to carry on their activities. Thus, people may ask questions such as; what happens to the businesses on lockdown, how will they survive, how will they provide for their families and what is the government doing to ease their plight.

In its proactive measures to provide answers to the questions above, the Federal Government through the CBN, introduced a Covid-19 stimulus package to help households and small businesses hardest hit by the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

These packages come in the form of food packs and credit facilities and can be assessed via nmfb.com.ng which is the Nirsal Microfinance bank website.

As the Federal government gradually continues to make provisions for all categories of businesses under the Covid-19 stimulus package, we must ensure to take the necessary precautions to prevent the disease and stay healthy, as the saying goes: “where there is life, there is hope”

Invitation to participate at the 2020 Startup Clinic powered by NITDA

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is calling on startups who are at the early stage of their business to apply for this year’s Startup Clinic series, a five day business skills training scheduled to take place in three states: Jigawa 16th-20th March, Kebbi 30th March – 3rd April, and FCT Abuja 23rd – 27th March.

For further enquiries and information send mail to; info@ictinnovation.gov.ng

limited slots are available.

Apply here: bit.ly/SUC2020