Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe,said that the Agricultural sub-sector will create three million sustainable jobs this year.

Ogbe also said that government has concluded arrangements to focus on Agriculture as one of the key sectors for economic diversification as well as the largest contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Minister spoke at his ministry’s 2016 budget defence session in the Senate.

He noted that the key initiative for the fiscal year, 2016 in the Agricultural sub=sector is to increase the national food supply to address national food security, to add 20 million metric tons of food annually and to create three million sustainable jobs annually.

The ministry, he said, will continue with the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) programme as a platform to deliver inputs like fertilizer, seeds and agro-chemicals to small holder farmers.

On critical projects and programmes, he said that the ministry in the budget 2016 will concentrate on import substitution commodity value chains; export substitution commodity value chains; labour intensive family enterprise (Life) programmes; agricultural mechanization and grazing reserves/ stock routes development.

The minister who gave summary of 2015 budget performance said that N2,755,369,984 representing 50% of capital appropriation was released and N488,133,883 representing 18% of release was utilized, leaving a balance of N2,266,417,876.

The balance, he said, will be utilized before March 31, 2016.

He said that the ministry projects Internally Generated Revenue of N904, 739,098.69 for 2016 fiscal year.

The IGR, he said, will be made up of N664, 998,569.88 as taxes and N239, 740,528.81 as Independent Revenue.

The 2016 budget proposal for the ministry is N40, 918,856,927


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