Government should not abandon the GESS programme, says Abdullahi
The Secretary General of the Seed Entrepreneurs Association of Nigeria and the Managing Director of Maslaha Seeds Ltd, Guso, Zamfara State, Ibrahim Abdullahi has urged the Federal Government to continue with the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS), an agricultural programme meant to support farmers initiated by the former administration.
According to Abdullahi, the government is yet to pay the money owed the agro-dealers, fertilizer and seed companies who participated in the GESS programme under the previous administration.
“We understand that the government was focusing on election then and immediately after the election the government was busy with transitioning from one government to another.”
“GESS or what is also called the agricultural transformation agenda programme of the last administration was a good thing. We have seen so many agricultural programmes in this country. But I can tell you we have never seen any of those programmes that has had so much impact as the GESS programme.”
He noted that initially, few seed and fertilizers companies indicated interest to participate in the GESS programme thinking that it was going to be business as usual. It was later discovered that the programme was well planned and a lot of farmers benefitted from it. “It attracted so many people to enter into the business.”
He recalled that the seed sector actually attracted so many people. They were mostly people within the agricultural sector. Unfortunately, some of them don’t have the infrastructure to operate as full blown seed companies. That was one of the initial constraints. But overtime many of them got over the constraint.
“The GESS programme has actually made so much positive impacts on the Nigerian farmers. In terms of increasing their productivity, improving their agronomic practices, bringing a lot of positive things into agriculture which we have not seen before.”
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