The Minister Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says that the stage is set for the greatest agricultural revolution in Nigerian history.
Alhaji Mohammed disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday.
Mr Mohammed said the revolution would be brought to fruition through a programme called ” The Green Imperative”.
According to the minister the initiative is a Nigeria-Brazil Bilateral Agriculture Development Programme, one which dates back to the 6th of June 2016.
He said that amongst other things, the initiative will reactivate six motor assembly plants in the six-geopolitical zones of the country for assembling tractors and other implements.
Adding that the programme will also import the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts of about 5,000 tractors and numerous implements (for local assembly) annually for a period of 10 years
Below is the full speech as rendered by the minister in Abuja.
Good afternoon gentlemen, and thank you for honouring our invitation
once again. While briefing you last Friday on the 1st anniversary,
second term of the Buhari Administration, I hinted at the agricultural
revolution that the Administration is about to embark upon, and I said
that the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and I will be providing details.
Well, we are here to do just that today.
2. The Buhari Administration is set to revolutionize agriculture in
Nigeria through a programme called ‘THE GREEN IMPERATIVE, a
Nigeria-Brazil Bilateral Agriculture Development Programme. It is the
outcome of Nigeria’s decision, dating back to 6 June 2016, to enrol in
Brazil’s Government-to-Government More Food International Programme
(MFIP). Following that decision, and between June 2016 and December
2019, several high level Ministerial and technical visits and
exchanges have occurred between the two countries. During one of such
visits, the Bilateral Protocol of Intention with the Government of
Brazil was signed in March 2017.
3. Gentlemen, His Excellency the Vice President of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria launched THE GREEN IMPERATIVE programme officially
on 17 January 2019 in the presence of the representatives of the
Federative Republic of Brazil, Deutsche Bank as well as Brazilian and
Nigerian private sector. The Programme, worth US$1.2 billion, is to be
implemented over a period of 5-10 years with funding from the
Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank; with insurance
provided by Brazilian Guarantees and Fund Managements Agency (ABGF)
and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit (ICIEC) of
the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and coordinated by Getúlio Vargas
4. Now, how will this programme revolutionize agriculture in
Nigeria, you may ask. The GREEN IMPERATIVE programme will lead to the
– Reactivation of six motor assembly plants in the
six-geopolitical zones of the country for assemblying tractors and other implements. The programme will import the
Completely Knocked Down (CKD) parts of about 5,000 tractors and
numerous implements (for local assembly) annually for a period of 10
– Establishment of 142 agro processing service centres for value
addition, with one centre in each Senatorial District.
– Establishment of 632 mechanization service centres to support
primary production in the 774 Local Government Areas and the Federal
Capital Territory. This will create 774 service centers nationwide to
mechanize our farming methods and process or add value to farm produce
locally, leading to efficiency and eliminating post-harvest losses,
thereby cutting down cost of food all year round
– Private sector operators will operate and manage all the service
centres and the assembly plants.
– The programme will create about 5 million jobs and inject over
US$10 billion into the economy within 10 years.
– It will create sustainable supply chain of agricultural raw
materials for our large manufacturing companies to source locally,
thereby saving billions of US Dollars in food-related forex
– It will train about 100,000 extension workers within 3 years.
– It will impact over 35 million persons nutritionally and economically,
– It will revitalize our Research and Extension service delivery
through a 5-year technology-package transfer component
– The programme;s benefits also include the transfer of technology
from Brazil’s manufacturers and institutions to Nigeria
5. Gentlemen, let me now give you some highlights in the evolution
of the GREEN IMPERATIVE programme:
– The programme design was jointly done by Nigeria and Brazil. The
Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development set up a
High-Level Inter-Ministerial Committee for the bilateral programme
– In the course of the programme design, the Brazilian technical
mission visited Nigeria and met with rural small-holder farmers.
– The Nigerian technical team also embarked on a study tour of three
African countries (Ghana, Kenya and Senegal) where MFIP is being
implemented to study their challenges as well as their successes or
– The Nigerian technical team has also visited the selected assembly
plants in the six geopolitical zones to determine in-country capacity
to handle the assembly of a CKD-based programme of this magnitude.
6. Since 2015, the Buhari Administration has been working hard to
bring about irreversible change in many sectors and to diversify the
economy away from oil. The many unprecedented programmes embarked upon
by the Administration have touched the power sector, where timelines
have been given for ending the age-long power supply problem; food
security, especially production of rice, a national staple, through
the Anchor Borrower’s Programme; the unique Social Intervention
Programme (SIP); the unprecedented infrastructural renewal project
covering roads, bridges, rail, etc; the pepped-up fight against
corruption; the innovative programmes to create jobs and the
unrelenting fight against insecurity, among others.
7. The stage is now set for an agricultural revolution that will
strengthen food security, create massive jobs, transfer technology,
revive or reinvigorate many assembly plants, strengthen the economy,
save scarce resources, mechanize farming and lead to the emergence of
value-added agriculture, among other benefits.
8. The Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development will
now make some comments on this programme, after which we will take
questions. Please note that only questions related to THE GREEN
IMPERATIVE programme will be entertained
9. I thank you for your kind attention