The vision of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is to grow Nigeria’s agricultural sector. Specifically, the vision is to “achieve a hunger-free Nigeria through an agricultural sector that drives income growth, accelerates achievement of food and nutritional security, generates employment and transforms Nigeria into a leading player in global food markets to grow wealth for millions of farmers”.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been true to his statement that he would revive agriculture in the country by building on the policies of the past administration such as the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) which was initiative to actualise the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). He demonstrated the Federal Government’s commitment to agriculture in November 2015, by officially flagging off dry season rice and wheat farming in Kebbi state and also launched the N20billion Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) which the Central Bank of Nigeria has set aside for rice farmers across the country.
In its determination to reduce the level of youth unemployment, the Federal Government, in February 2016, revealed its plan to empower 740,000 market-oriented young Agricultural producers in rural areas under Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP).
According to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Shehu Ahmed, the programme which was aimed to cover the 36 states of the federation and FCT had commenced with six pilot states selected from the six geopolitical zones including, Bauchi, Imo, Katsina, Lagos, Niger, and Rivers states. The beneficiaries of the project would comprise of 20,000 school leavers and rural youth leaders from each state of the federation.
The Federal Government, through the Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP) has commenced the process of empowering 30,000 youths along area based priority value chains. According to the Permanent Secretary, the beneficiaries would be trained in different value chains namely: Rice, Aquaculture, Poultry, Maize, Tomato, Wheat, Sorghum, Apiculture, Soya bean, Cassava, Groundnut, Oil Palm, Snailry, Grass cutter and multiple value chains like welding and fabrication, repair and maintenance.