Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Audu Ogbeh says delays and the processes involved in the release of budgets is hampering implementation of programmes in the agriculture sector.
Ogbeh made this known in Abuja on Wednesday while speaking with newsmen in Abuja.
“One the major obstacles to some of these programmes is the budget cycle. We are just about to start implementing the 2018 budget.
“A few obstacles are being put aside for us to start implementation. We can only work if we have a budget.
“We are working with the private sector to achieve all the programmes,’’ he said.
The minister said that the government was also planning to plant about 20 million bananas in the next 12 months.
The minister assured that the planned programme ranging from cocoa launch in Ondo and Cross River States, jute bags and pulses production, deployment of agro-rangers to farms would soon be implemented
He noted that the Agricultural Inputs Mechanisation and Management Services (AIMMS) which was billed to commence in June, would soon be implemented to enable farmers to get subsidised and quality inputs in various Local Government Areas.
Ogbeh noted that the AIMMS would replace the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme to render services to farmers in every council area.
The minister said that the GES left an outstanding eight billion Naira debt for the government, adding that the Federal Government had limited money to settle the bill.
He, however, assured that the ministry would soon begin implementation of the programmes and projects to ensure improved food production.