1 By Obinna Unaeze
3 Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger, represented by his deputy Alhaji Ahmed Ketso, said the state government is launching the 2021 agricultural season 15,000 metric tons of fertilizer in the state’s 25 local government zones.
4 “So far, a total of 27 and a half trucks of fertilizer have been delivered to designated government fertilizer stores in 25 local government areas across the state to be sold to farmers for the 2021 farming season.
6 “This aims to encourage smallholder farmers to have access to vital inputs, in addition to expanding synergy with the capacity of the private sector to provide and participate in the state’s agricultural development.
7 “The State of Niger, under our leadership, will continue to maintain the agreement allowing the private sector to drive the process of direct purchase and distribution of fertilizer through their established networks.
8 “The government will continue to focus on subsidizing production inputs to small farmers to ensure its availability and facilitate access to real fertilizers and other agricultural inputs at subsidized rates, thereby reducing the activities of intermediaries,” he said. -he declares.
9 He said that in addition to the 130 new tractors purchased in 2018, the government is reorganizing its partnership with the private sector for increased efficiency in the state’s agricultural value chains.
10 The governor said the government had accessed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Accelerated Agricultural Development Program (AADS) facility for the development of some dilapidated agricultural infrastructure across the state.
11 “We are currently rehabilitating five irrigated perimeters in Chanchaga, Agaie, Gbakogi, Tamanai and Lioji and are also modernizing the agricultural institutes of Tegina, Kuta, Nasko and Bida.
12 “We have also established 50 hectares of palm oil plantation in Labozhi, among others.
13 “We will continue to work to mitigate security concerns in the state and their impact on agriculture and food security.
14 “I call on our farmers and all residents of the state to, out of responsibility, provide useful information about any suspicious activity or any foreign person in their area to the closest security officers,” he said. .
15 Previously, Alhaji Zakari Jikantoro, State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the ministry, in implementing the government’s agriculture policy, will explore all possible options to take advantage of the vast opportunities that abound in the state.
16 “In Niger State, we have the comparative advantage in producing stable such as rice, yam and other high value added crops such as ginger, sesame, cashew and palm oil to facilitate agro-industrialization, ”he said.
17 Alhaji Shehu Galadima, State President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), called on the federal government to restore subsidies on agricultural inputs to enable farmers to maintain their farming activities.
18 “The government of developed countries subsidizes inputs to help farmers develop,” he said.
19 Galadima denounced the growing insecurity in the state which he said was preventing farmers from reaching their farms.
20 “Some of our farmers have been displaced from their ancestral homes by bandits, forcing them to live in camps for internally displaced people.
21 “Because of the activities of the thugs, our farmers have abandoned their agribusinesses,” he said.
22 He advised the government to train and arm vigilantes and agro-rangers to work with security agencies to restore normalcy to rural communities.
24 The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that some of the agricultural inputs available to farmers during the demobilization period include fertilizers, premium hybrid seeds, improved corn, rice and soybean seeds. (NAA)