Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago of Niger State has flagged-off the 2023 wet season sales and distribution of fertilizers as well as other agricultural inputs to farmers in the state at a subsidized rate.
The event which took place in Minna the state capital was aimed at boosting agricultural activities and guarantee food security in line with his administration’s policy thrust on agriculture.
While calling on the relevant MDAs responsible for the distribution to ensure equitable distribution, Governor Umaru Bago said each of the beneficiaries is entitled to 10 bags of the fertilizers, warning that security operatives have been directed to deal decisively with any one found wanting.
He added that 60,000 thousand bags of the fertilizers have been provided for a start, and that 120,000 more bags will be provided.
To further demonstrate his administration’s resolve to maximize the agricultural potentials that abound in the state, the Governor pledged to revive the Niger State Agricultural Mechanization Development Agency (NAMDA) formally known as Agricultural Development Projects (ADP), with the procurement of 300 tractors out of which 10 will be given to each of the 25 local government areas of the state.
He announced that Bago Foundation which is headed by his Wife, Hajiya Fatima Umaru Bago has donated 300 water pumping machines to boost irrigation farming across the state.
The Governor encouraged everyone especially civil servants and youths to key into the agricultural plan of the state by embracing farming.
He also reminded the people to brace up for the developmental agenda of his administration as it might come with some discomforts, assuring that in the end, it will be for the benefit of all.
“This is our way as a government of encouraging farming and agriculture in the state. We must gravitate from subsistence agriculture to commercial agriculture.
“We have put in place structures and machinery for distribution. We have made it a policy that only 10 bags can be sold to an individual. Bank details, and BVN of individuals will be taken into consideration and we have invited the EFCC, ICPC, and also the police to make sure that this is done rightly.
“We are bringing subsidy in agriculture and it must be sustained”, he assured.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Idris Usman Gbogan explained that the state government has approved a 20% subsidy of 100 trucks (600 tonnes) of fertilizer and that each bag of 50kg of fertilizer will be sold at N18,000 as against the open market price of N24,000 to N30,000.
He said the sales will be done in the designated stores across the state adding that internal control mechanisms are in place to ensure that only resource constraint farmers benefit.
Dr Usman Gbogan also said that the Ministry, Local Government Directors of Agriculture, Niger State Agricultural Mechanization Development Agency (NAMDA) Zonal officers, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Security operatives and Sarkin Nomas among others are the monitoring teams for all the zones of the state.
The Permanent Secretary appreciated the Governor for his doggedness to ensure that the agricultural potentials in the state are properly harnessed, disclosing that the Ministry has commenced the process of providing one hectare of land to each of the civil servants to cultivate as he directed.
He also appealed to the Governor to resuscitate and support the Buffer stock programme of the Ministry to enable it to mop up grains and stock in the state-owned designated warehouses during harvest for later sales at a cheaper price than the open market.
Kauran Minna, Alh. Mohammed Kpotu Abdullahi who represented the Emir of Minna, Dr. Umar Faruk Bahago said the gesture of the state government to farmers was timely and also called on the Governor to empower Agriculture Extention Officers to sensitize farmers on how best to use agricultural technology to increase their yields.
Other speakers at the event were the representatives of AFAN, USAID Feed the Future Extention Advisory and Sarkin Noman Minna.
They all applauded the Governor for his deliberate effort towards ensuring the development and sustenance of agriculture in the state and pledged their continued support to government policies and programmes.
Symbolic presentation of the items were made by Governor Umaru Bago to beneficiaries
Bologi Ibrahim
Chief Press Secretary
to the Governor of Niger State
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