Agricultural Transformation Agenda Phase Two Include more Farmers and Crops
The National Coordinator, Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase-One (ATASP-1) Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Arabi has disclosed that the second phase of the programme would be expanded to include more farmers in the agricultural value chains.
Dr. Arabi made this declaration while responding to questions from journalists in his office in Abuja, that the need for expansion of the programme was necessary having seen what the first phase of ATASP has been able to achieve with improved living standard of poor farmers, processors and marketers in the rural areas of the seven states of the project operations that include Anambra, Enugu, Niger, Kano, Jigawa, Kebbi and Sokoto.
He expressed optimism that the programme’s expansion to other states would reduce poverty more at the rural areas as urban migration would be reduced just as social infrastructure like rural feeder roads, functional health centres, drinkable waters powered by solar and provision of markets for easy transactions were part of the package for the people.
Talking on the need for expansion to other states, Arabi explained ‘’that is our plan for the second phase because of the achievement already recorded under the present ATASP-1 through the component of value chains development of rice, sorghum and cassava where we have improved the productivity and production.
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“And the same in the other two crops of cassava and sorghum. This is the reason why the programme should be expanded to more states for rural economic development as more rural people are being made to become more richer, and thereby reducing poverty, and creating wealth to more people to achieve the core objective of the programme, and that is why other states should be taken into consideration’’
Also talking on the process of involvement of other states, he explained that ‘’at the appropriate time, we are going to make request to the Federal Government through the Minister of Agriculture based on the achievement we have recorded during the first phase which beneficiaries have testified to.
“We have no doubt about the second phase of the programme when considering the magnanimity of President Muhammadu Buhari and his focus on Agriculture in order to make life much better for especially rural people.
“I am sure he is going to consider the programme for second phase. Also the African Development Bank as co-sponsor are also impressed about the performance of the programme and we have no doubt about their support for the second phase’’ he added.
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