The Federal Government has said it will establish specialised cooperative centres in the 774 local government areas of the country.
The Minister of Agriculture, Prof. Ahmed Abdullah, announced this in a message during the inauguration of the Cooperative Integrated Service Centre in Enugu on Friday.
Abdullah, who was represented by a director in the ministry, Mr Emmanuel Udeh, said 20 centres, including that of Enugu, had been completed.
According to the minister, the aim of the cooperative revitalisation programme is to provide employment for the youths as well as to boost small-scale enterprises.
He said the ministry had mapped out plans to ensure food security and wealth creation through proper management of the nation’s land and water resources.
“This drive can be achieved through the mobilisation of the small scale farmers who constituted about 70 per cent of the populace,’’ Abdullah said.
Inaugurating the centre, Gov. Sullivan Chime of Enugu State said the programme would go a long way in improving the living standard of the people.
Chime, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Martin Ilo, said 29 specialised cooperative societies had so far been registered in the state.
He said the societies included 10 in agro-input supply and product marketing, 10 in micro finance and nine in tractor hiring.
Chime said that his administration had taken agriculture seriously, adding that the government had sponsored agricultural officers at Songhai, Benin Republic, to enhance food production in the state.
The governor, however, called on the people of the state to form more cooperative societies to benefit from the revitalisation programme.