… Restates Commitment To Supporting Agricultural Activities, Ensuring Food Security In Gombe State
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has flagged off the sales and distribution of fertilizers for the 2023 farming season.
Performing the ceremony at Lawanti Farm Service Centre in Akko Local Government Area, the Governor said the commodity will be sold at the rate of N19,000 per bag, against the market price of about N26,000 to alleviate the financial burden on the farmers.
He said that the timely distribution of the subsidised fertilizers for this year’s cropping season is aimed at boosting agriculture and ensuring food security in the state and beyond while creating wealth and providing employment opportunities for the teeming populace.
The governor said “the government has procured 160 trucks (5000 MT) of fertilizer at the cost of Two Billion, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N2,837,500,000.00)”, an addition of about 35 trucks from the quantity distributed last year.
To ensure the commodity reaches its intended beneficiaries, Governor Inuwa explained that his government has put in place an effective framework for the sales and distribution of fertilizers across all the 114 political wards of the state to ensure that the commodity reaches the real farmers at the grassroots.
Governor Inuwa said his administration is mindful of the high price of fertilizers in the market which adversely affects the farmers and reduces the overall contribution of the sector in the economic development of the state.
“We understand that the high cost of fertilizer and other farm implements can be a significant barrier to our farmers. That’s why we are working diligently to make these essential inputs available at reduced prices to alleviate the financial burden on our farmers. Our aim is to empower our farmers with the essential resources to enhance crop yields, improve soil fertility, increase profitability, and achieve sustainable agricultural practices”.
The governor explained that his government has engaged in different projects and programmes to revamp agriculture in Gombe with the state keying into many agricultural initiatives at both state, regional and national levels to boost productivity.
“Government has also secured an NG-cares intervention on the provision of fertilizer and agro-chemicals to our farmers free of charge. We also collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development FMARD in training farmers on the maize and yam value chain in which the beneficiaries were provided with relevant inputs as starter packs.
“We are also embarking on agricultural extension services and awareness campaigns on modern farming techniques, soil management, and sustainable agriculture for Gombe farmers to get the necessary tools and information to make informed decisions and embrace practices that benefit both their farms and the environment”, he added.
“I would like to assure you that we have put measures in place to ensure that the procured fertilizer reaches the grassroots. This informed my approval of the distribution method that captured adequately our small, medium, and large-scale farmers. To ensure smooth and hitch-free distribution of fertilizers, I have directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry to deliver the fertilizer to all our 114 political wards across the State”.
Announcing the price for this year’s fertilizers, Governor Inuwa said, the commodity will be sold at the price it was sold last year despite the increase in the market price of the commodity.
“Last year, we sold the fertilizer at 19,000 Naira per bag; we still maintain that price.” He said, adding that, each bag of fertilizer is subsidised at the rate of 25%.
He appealed to the farmers to cooperate with those assigned with the responsibilities of sales and distribution across the state for the success of the exercise.
He cautioned them against diversion or any form of mismanagement of the commodity, adding that the law will take its course on anybody found wanting.
The governor restated his government’s commitment towards mitigating farmer-herder conflicts in the state through the setting up of conflict prevention and dispute resolution committees in all the eleven local governments of the state, the efforts that he said have so far recorded tremendous success in bringing harmonious and peaceful co-existence between herders and farmers which has significantly increased crop and animal productivity in the state.
He maintained that Gombe State is largely an agrarian state with over 80%of its population engaged in Agriculture. “Supporting this sector is therefore crucial to economic development, food security, and sustainable livelihood for our people”, the governor noted.
He used the occasion to thank local farmers for their contribution towards the growth and resilience of the agricultural sector in the state, urging both farmers and herders to live in harmony with one another and avoid infringing on others’ properties and rights for peace to reign in Gombe state and the nation.
The governor pledged continued support to the agricultural sector, promising to address the shortage of manpower in the agricultural sector, thereby improving farming productivity.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Ibrahim Yakubu Usman thanked Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for giving the agricultural sector in the state the attention it deserves, explaining that since the inception of this administration, the governor has been consistent in providing all the needed funds and necessary support for agricultural development in the state.
Dr. Ibrahim specifically noted the establishment of Farmer-herder Prevention and Settlement of Disputes committees, annual vaccinations against transboundary animal diseases, procurement and distribution of fertilizers, agrochemicals, farm equipment, building livestock infrastructures among others as some of Governor Inuwa’s keen intervention in Agricultural sector towards making the state self-reliant and agricultural hub in the Northeast Subregion.
In his goodwill message, the Acting Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Gabriel Baba Yila thanked the governor for his support to farmers in the state.
“The Management of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on behalf of the teeming farming population of Gombe state wishes to thank His Excellency most sincerely for his continuous support to the farmers of Gombe state with basic farm inputs; fertilizers, agro chemicals, improved seeds, and farm implements to Improve productivity, create wealth, reduce poverty and guarantee national food security,” he said.
The event was attended by the Deputy Governor, Dr Manassah Daniel Jatau, Speaker, Hon. Abubakar Mohammed Luggerewo, APC Chairman, Mr. Nitte Amangal, Secretary to the State Government, Professor Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi, Acting Head of Civil Service, Alhaji Ahmed Kasimu Abdullahi, heads of security agencies, traditional rulers, farmers communities and organizations, among other stakeholders.