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Niger Govt to help farmers access carbon credit-free funds

The Niger State Government says it will help no fewer than 2,500 farmers in the state to benefit from the Federal Government’s carbon credit-free funds toward increasing food production.

Dr Mathew Ahmed, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, disclosed this on Wednesday in Minna, while inaugurating this year’s wet season farming in the state.

Carbon credit enables firms that cannot avoid greenhouse gas emissions to compensate for their emissions.

“Let me announce to you that we are partnering with a company to help our farmers get carbon credit-free funds to increase food production.’’

Ahmed said that under the programme, four Local Government Areas in the state– Paikoro, Bosso, Wushishi and Mokwa would be used as pilot scheme.

He said that the 2,500 farmers would be drawn from the areas to benefit in the programme.

According to him, under the carbon credit money, the ministry will train 2,500 farmers across four local governments.

“This will help the farmers to know how the soil will absorb carbon to help the development of their crops.

“We will help the farmers take their soil samples and analyse them to benefit their agricultural activities.”

The permanent secretary explained that the facility was money paid annually to the Federal Government by companies in the country emitting carbon monoxide into the atmosphere and using it to pollute the environment.

“This is why we have the issues of global warming and sudden climate change.

“It is free money to the farmers because they attract carbon into the soil,’’ he said.

He said that the ministry was collaborating with a company, Niger Foods, to develop agriculture in the state.

Ahmed enjoined the farmers not to hasten into cultivation now but to wait until May when the normal rain would come.

Similarly, Alhaji Shehu Galadima, Chairman, of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in the state, said that 1 million farmers in the state would be mobilised for this year’s wet season farming.

“AFAN is embarking on a special mobilisation of one million smallholder farmers across the 25 local government areas of Niger state for the 2024 wet season period.

“This is to actualise the dream of the governor, Alhaji Umaru Bago, to feed the state and the nation.’’

Galadima said that there were over one million farmers in the state belonging to 34 farmer associations.

He said that the farmers would be mobilised this year to cultivate 10 crops, which include food and cash crops.

“The major targeted crops for this year’s wet season farming period are rice, maize, sesame, soya bean, sorghum, millet, cowpea, cotton, cassava and yam.

“The expected output from the cultivated crops for the 2024 wet season farming exercise will be over 4 million metric tons of food,” he said.

Earlier, Alhaji Mohammed Danbaba, the State Coordinator, Young Farmers Association of Nigeria (YFAN), promised to utilise the association to sensitise the teeming youth in the state to take to agriculture toward self-employment.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high point of the occasion was the inauguration of an administrative block by the Permanent Secretary for YFAN.

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