Gov. Sule launches fertilizer sales for 2021 dry season farming
Olukayode Babalola [NAN]
Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state has launched fertilizer sales, at subsidized rate, to boost farmers’ efforts at dry season farming for improved agricultural production.
Speaking in Lafia, on Tuesday, at the distribution ceremony for 2021 dry season farming, Sule said the fertilizer was being distributed to help the State achieve sustainable food production, as well as ensure all-year-round farming,
“Since the inception of this administration, the government has continued to launch the sales of fertilizers at subsidized rates, because of the vital role agriculture plays in the state.
“Today’s occasion is also in furtherance of our commitment to ensure an effective distribution process in the delivery of farm inputs to our teeming farmers,’’ the governor said.
He said that the 300 metric tons fertilizer would be sold at N5,000 per bag to dry season farmers, advising beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the commodity to increase yield.
“Let me however; warn that those handling the sales will be held responsible for any anomaly in the distribution of the fertilizer in their respective domains.
“Coordinators at various levels are to ensure remittance of sales to the designated bank account, as any misappropriation will be met with appropriate sanctions.
“I should also caution individuals and groups against purchasing the commodity and selling to farmers at exorbitant rates,” he said.
Sule appealed to the Federal Government to select Nasarawa State, to participate in the World Bank-assisted Agro-Processing Productivity and Livelihood Enhancement Support Project (APPEALS).
“I am happy to inform you that a team of officials had undertaken an on-the-spot assessment of our facilities, which are fully ready for operation.
“If approved, this will further strengthen the commitment of Nasarawa State in consolidating the gains it recorded in the agricultural sector,” he said.
In his remarks, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the intervention was a deliberate effort aimed at checking food scarcity, in the light of negative factors that had affected agriculture in recent times.
Represented by Mrs. Karima Babangida, a Director in the ministry, Nanono cited the factors to include the Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic and flood.
He said that 200 dry season rice farmers in the state would benefit from the intervention, which included assorted fertilizers, herbicides and rice seeds, adding that the Federal Government would continue to support the state, because of the important role it played in the sector.
Also, Prof. Alalana Otaki, Commissioner of Agriculture and Water Resources, in his address of welcome, said that fertilizer sales and other inputs were of utmost importance to farmers and the state in general, hence the priority attached to it by the government.
Otaki said that the state government received 400 bags of Urea, 800 bags of NPK fertilizers and other agro-allied products from the Federal Government to distribute freely, while the state government provided 38 trucks, amounting to 22,800 bags of fertilizers.
“The directive we got from them is that at least the intervention should reach 150 to 200 farmers and for free. For us as a state, we procured 38 trucks of NPK for distribution to the 38 local and development areas in the state.
“Each local government and development area has already taken the delivery of one truck each,” he said.
In a vote of thanks, Mr. Samuel Meshi, Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Nasarawa state chapter, appreciated the state government, adding that the efforts would ensure availability of food security at the end of the season. (NAN)
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