Women farmers

Nigeria plans to lift at least five million smallholder farmers out of extreme poverty with support to increase their productivity, said a top agriculture official on Monday.

The government has developed a database to offer smallholder farmers fertilizer subsidy support, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Muhammad Nanono at a consultative meeting in Abuja.

Also at the meeting, Andrew Kwasari, senior special assistant to the president on agriculture, said one objective of the fertilizer strategy was to create a sufficient supply of safe, high-quality crops and price-competitive fertilizer.

Another strategy was to ensure expanded access to such fertilizer supply to all via commercial channels, Kwasari said, adding that the West African country will create new opportunities in key sectors to address poverty in the new year.

Nigeria’s poverty rate stood at 40 percent, representing a population of 82.9 million, said the National Bureau of Statistics in May.

While its urban poverty rate remained at 18 percent, the rural figure was about 52.1 percent. According to the World Bank, the country’s agricultural growth remains below potential due to continued insurgency in the northeast part and the ongoing farmer-herdsmen conflict.

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