As part of its continued commitment to develop the over 70% of the people of Gombe State who are engaged in farming activities, the state government has flag off the distribution of and sales of fertilizer for the 2017 cropping season.
Addressing the farmers during flag off, the State Governor Alh. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo said the administration has procured over 140,000 metric tones of fertilizer since assumption of office in 2011 in addition to other agricultural inputs such as improved seeds, chemicals, equipment etc and sold to formers at subsidized rate in order to improve productivity.
With this effort, the governor believed it translates to increased income, empowerment of farmers, improvement of livelihood of the citizens as well as the much desired food security in the State.
For this cropping season, the state is among the first to indicate interest in the special federal fertilizer intervention programme as explained by the governor adding they indented for 20,000 metric tones of NPK 20-10-10 and have also procured 10,000 MT of urea 46%.
Alh. Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo also said the administration has executed other numerous programmes and projects in the agricultural sector, all aimed at diversifying the economy.
These he said include: procurement and sale of 40 metric tones of improved maize seed (Samaz 14) at subsidized rate; supporting the Central Bank of Nigeria Anchor Borrowers programme for cultivation of Rice in the area farmer registration and mapping of farms; repairs of over 20 tractors and implements (ridges, ploughs and harrows) for the 2017 wet farming season; and supported dry season farming with free land preparation.
The governor said having considered the cost of fertilizer in the market and the need to support farmers, the State Government has decided to fix the price of fertilizer at N4,800 NPK for a bag and N5,800 urea for a bag.
He urged the farmers to take advantage of government’s huge spending in the agricultural sector to increase and improve production.
The Commissioner of Agriculture Alh. Dahiru Buba Biri, while appreciating the effort of the governor toward boosting Agricultural activities in Gombe State said the Ministry would ensure the effective sales and distribution of the commodity by making adequate preparations so that it would reach the beneficiaries at the grass roots.
He explained further, “the maintenance of our storage facilities, arrangement for transportation to sales points at each of the local government councils and training of sales staff have been given adequate attention”, pointing out that the distribution system has adequately captured the large, medium and small scale farmers.