The Nigerian Government on Thursday announced it plans to create an additional five million jobs under a new agricultural programme called The Green Imperative, which is aimed at boosting agricultural production in Nigeria.
The Green Imperative programme, which was launched by Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, will mainly be financed by the Brazilian Government through a loan of $1.1billion. The loan will be disbursed in four tranches over a period of two years, reported Premium Times.
The partnership between the Nigerian government and Brazilian government will involve the provision of modern agricultural machinery and support services, including 10,000 tractors to be assembled locally in Nigeria and the establishment of around 700 agriculture training centers for Nigerians.
Mr. Osinbajo said the Green Imperative has been announced as part of the government’s promise to invest in agriculture.
“We cannot bring our nation out of poverty without investment in agriculture,” Osinbajo said adding, “Also, the sheer number of young people coming of age will not only need to be fed but also employed. They want dignified jobs with decent pay.”
He explained that the fascinating aspect of the deal was the emphasis on advanced and mechanized agriculture, which would lead to higher yields.
“Today, we are producing Paddy Rice as much as we need because of mechanization of agriculture,” Mr. Osinbajo said. “The only way to make the quantum leap required in our economy is what we are doing today with this project, the Green Imperative.”
The Vice President pointed out that one of the reasons that young people don’t take up agriculture is because it is not mechanized. He said he hopes that modern farming system would definitely attract the youth towards agriculture and create more opportunities for them and those involved in assembling the machinery and implements.
The Green Imperative programme will be implemented in all the 774 Local Government Areas of the country in phases, and participants will be selected on the basis of merit.