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Nigeria Sets Up Fund For Agricultural Development

PANA, 26 June 2000

LAGOS, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria's President Olusegun Obasanjo has approved the establishment of a National Agricultural Development Fund (NADF), as part of efforts to revitalise the country's agricultural sector.

Announcing the fund's creation in Abuja at the weekend, the Special Adviser to the President on Food Security, Ango Abdullahi, said the fund would start operating next year and that a take-off capital of 8 billion naira (80 million dollars) had been earmarked.

Abdullahi was speaking when a committee headed by him to study the marketing problems of Nigerian farmers submitted its report to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sani Zango-Daura.

The Special Adviser also announced that the federal government had established the National Crop Marketing Company (NCMC), with the government owning 40 per cent equity participation to form the initial take-off capital for the company.

Abdullahi said that funding for the NADF would come from the government, levies on imported commodities and the subsidy on fertiliser, while the 40 percent government equity in the NCMC could be sold to the public within the next six years.

He said that a bill establishing the two agencies would soon be sent to the National Assembly.

On the NADF, the Special Adviser added that it would provide a reliable access to funds by farmers at a very low interest rate and provide research grants to institutes and funding for farm extension services.