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Mixed reactions over fertilizer cost in North west

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Farmers in Kebbi and Kano states have hailed the level of fertiliser supply in their states, saying that the commodity was sold at the controlled price of N5,500.

However, farmers in Zamfara said that the supply was low and difficult to access.

In Kebbi, 886,000 tones of fertilizer were distributed by the state government to farmers in 225 wards across the 21 local government areas of the state.

The state government Spokesman, Alhaji Sani Dododo, told the Nigeria News Agency in Birnin Kebbi that the fertilizer was sold at subsidized rate of N5,500 per bag.

Dododo said the government and stakeholders have had extensive discussions before agreeing on issues affecting all aspects of agriculture in the state.

“The stakeholders comprise, traditional rulers, politicians, members of farmers associations in the state,” he said.

Also, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Alhaji Muhammad Lawal, told NAN that the state government had been selling fertilizer to farmers based on approved Federal Government price.

“We had procured more than enough fertilizer as even after the sells we still have huge quantity of it stocked in our stores across the 21 local government areas.

” We have been selling it at the cost of N5,500 per bag, but if you go to market you get it at N8,300 per bag.

” We don’t have shortage of fertilizer and we sell it for all our interested farmers irrespective of where and which political party you belong as we consider our farmers as one family members under same household.”

Lawal said the state government had been in touch with security agencies to prevent diversion of the commodity.

“We carried out awareness campaign on the danger of transporting the fertilizer to neighboring states and countries.

“We made our farmers to realise that the fertiliser was supplied to cushion the effect of the hardship they face in accessing inputs for their farming activities.”

A farmer in Birnin Kebbi, Alhaji Ibrahim Guluma, said he has four hectares of rice farm and was able to secure fertiliser from government.

“I initially tried to buy from the open market, but on hearing that it is available even in our wards I quickly went and bought what I required.”

Guluma recalled  that in 2018, despite their readiness to buy the product at the rate of N7,500 in the open market, it was not available.

He said the changes in supply and sales of fertilizer was remarkable.

However, in Zamfara, farmers were not happy over supply and sale of fertilizer, saying it remained scarce and expensive.

The farmers expressed the hope that efforts to revive the Gusau fertilizer blending plant may ease supply pressure next season.

One of the farmers, Shehu Abdullahi, said it was difficult getting fertiliser on time and at affordable rate.

“If government want to support farmers, it must provide fertiliser to farmers in large quantity and at subsidise rate.”

Another farmer, Alhaji Maiharaji Altine-Sallah, said fertiliser was difficult to get in Zamfara.

According to him, high quality grade of fertilizer is being sold at between N9,000 and N8,500 while low quality fertiser goes for N7,000 and N5,000.

Managing Director, Gusau fertiliser blending company, Mr Mustafa Anka, said the company built in 1998 to produce all brand of Nitrogen Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK), has been resuscitated after its closure in 2006 due to lack of funds.

The state governor, Bello Matawalle, released N10 million to revive the company.

Anka said:“We told him that our major problem was funding and he gave us N10 million for test running.

“We are already partnering with Savannah Global Agro Resources Limited who bring raw materials for us at the cost of over N30 million.

“We have embarked on this production as test running, we are now producing 20 tonnes per hour.

“This company has the capacity to produce 35 tonnes per hour and if the company resumes full operations, in ten hours we will be able to have ten trucks of fertilizer.

“The company need N2 billion to operate to full capacity; you know the issue of fertilizer blending is capital intensive.

“We have already approached Bank of Agriculture, they directed us to go to Sterling Bank to obtain loan and the bank said they are ready to give us the loan of N2 billion on single digit interest.

“Therefore, with the permission of the state governor if everything works fine, we will resume full production very soon.

“Our basic challenge is the funding; you can see the machines are okay, in terms of workforce if we have enough funding we can get many workers since we will be paying them directly.’’

In Kano, the Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Tsanyawa Local Government Area, Alhaji Abubakar Tsanyawa commended President Muhammad Buhari for providing fertiliser to farmers at subsidised rate.

According to him, the presidential intervention has made fertilizer readily available everywhere and throughout the year at affordable prices.

According to him, “before the coming of this subsidised fertiliser by the President, we used to by the product at the rate of N9000, which at the end of the harvest, the farmers cannot even recoup what they have spent, thus forcing many to run away from farming.

“We commend the president for such assistance, because the subsidised fertilizer is now N5,500; he is motivating us to return to farm and continue with our farming activities.

“We have not experienced cases of people selling the subsidised fertiliser at a higher rate, because it’s price is already written on all the bags. Therefore, farmers can easily shun and even report anyone found guilty of such”.

Tsanyawa, however, said that lack of access to markets is a major challenge, as farmers are left with huge stocks with no buyers.

“The Federal Government should buy off excess grains and other products from the farms, so as to encourage farmers produce more,” he said.

However, Head of Agric Department, Kiru Local government Area, Alhaji Sani Ishak said the demand for fertilizer in the area was higher than the quantity being supplied.

According to him, the area has large number of farmers, as such it is necessary for government to increase the supply of fertiliser to the area.

He explained that the subsidised fertiliser had really helped farmers not only in Kano, but all over the country to improve their outputs.

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

Agriculture

BSADP promotes grapevines cultivation in Bauchi state

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The Bauchi State Agricultural Development Programme (BSADP), said on Sunday that it had perfected plans to promote the cultivation of Grapevines as part of efforts at encouraging production of cash crops in the state.

The Director of Agriculture and Technical Services of the programme, Mr Luka Daniel, said this in Bauchi in an interview with Nigeria News Agency .

Daniel said that the effort would encourage farmers to engage in the venture to meet local demand and also conserve huge foreign exchange being spent on the importation of the commodity.

Daniel dispelled the belief by most Nigerians that grapevines could not be grown in the country.

“Any person who says that grapevines cannot be grown in the country may be ignorant and does not  know about  grapevine production.

“We have assisted many people who are interested in the cultivation of the crop, both within and outside the state.

“In the horticultural section of the Programme, we have various species of the seedlings;the fact of the matter is that grapevines are presently being produced in Nigeria.

“We started it in the BASDP in 2012 and had trained students, farmers, extension officers and people who are interested in the production of assorted tree crops and those who need to have seedlings.

“We currently have nurseries in Bauchi, Azare, Dutsin Kura, Toro and other locations, and had assisted individuals in setting up farms,” Daniel explained.

Edited by Saidu Adamu

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Agriculture

FG determined to boost tomato production – NIHORT

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‎The Executive Director, National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Dr Abayomi Olaniyan, says that the Federal Government has a robust plan to boost local production of tomato and create employment opportunities in the country.‎

Olaniyan said this at a workshop on tomato and ginger production, and value addition on Saturday in Kano.

The executive director, who said that tomato production in Nigeria was below demand, added that the production figure for fresh tomato was about 1.8 million tonnes while the annual demand was 2.3 million tonnes.‎

‎According to him, ‎the Federal Government’s tomato policy is to significantly reduce post–harvest losses of tomato fruits, boost production and attract investments into the entire value chain.

He said that the workshop had become imperative as a means of creating more awareness on the importance of the commodities in achieving food security, sustainable livelihood and economic empowerment.

“The training will cover important aspects of the commodities’ value chains such as nursery practices, production practices, value addition, economics of production, marketing and record keeping.

“The training will also cover tomato value addition and processing in order to reduce seasonal glut and inconsistent year round supply,” he explained.

Olaniyan further said that processing of tomato would reduce the quantity of tomato being imported into the country, especially during the lean season of supply.‎

“It is evident that improved production techniques and value addition must be taken seriously to attract ‎sustainable levels of investment and stakeholders’ interest in ginger,” he said.

‎The executive director said that Nigeria was the third largest exporter of ginger in the world after China and India.

According to him, Nigerian ginger verities are acclaimed to be of superior quality and outstanding flavour, adding that they were preferred products in the international market. ‎

‎He said that NIHORT had the mandate to conduct research into genetic improvement, production, processing, utilisation and marketing of fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants and spices.

Olaniyan then urged the participants to pay critical attention to all sessions in order to make the best use of the golden opportunity.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the participants were drawn from mainly tomato and ginger farming communities in Kano‎ and Kaduna States.

Some of the participants, who spoke with , commended NIHORT for the training and promised to extend the knowledge acquired to other farmers.

Edited by Franca Ofili and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

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Agriculture

River basin to create farm settlement in Auchi for food sufficiency

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“Songhai farming is the best model of farming and I urge many Nigerians to embrace the model of agriculture from Auchi experience,” he said.

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Agriculture

YIIFSWA, IITA sensitise 50 Edo yam farmers on new technology

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The Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA ll) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on Friday held a sensitisation forum on Aerophonics system of seed yam production for 50 yam farmers in Edo.

Mrs Perpetual Isiahon, Head of YIIFSWA, said that the programme was initiated to set a new tone for yam value chain in the state.

“Our task at this forum is to access the economic benefits of yam value chain, while using it as an initiative for the attainment of food security in Edo.

“The purpose of this forum is to sensitise participants on new technologies in producing seed yam and developing a better understanding of existing methods.

“It is also to expose participants to different products they can get from yam for income generation through its value chain,” she said.

Isiahon urged yam farmers in the state to key into the project and invest more on yam value chain for wealth creation.

She also called on the state government to assist in establishing new seed yam production companies in the state.

She said that a budget for yam in Edo would also encourage the production of yam.

She said that Abia, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Ogun states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, were currently producing seed yam, using the new technology

In a speech, the Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Mr Felix Akhabue, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Joe Edionwe, said that Nigeria had a high demand for yam as a staple food.

Edionwe regretted that yam production in Nigeria was not enough to meet the growing local and export demands, hence the need for new technologies in seed yam multiplication and production.

He said that the realisation of the goal would, no doubt, facilitate wealth creation and empowerment in the yam value chain.

Akhabue pledged government’s support to collaborate with critical stakeholders to ensure that yam farmers and Edo people benefited immensely from the project.

Mr Wellington Omoragbon, state Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), commended the initiative and urged the farmers to take the message to their communities.

Omoragbon said the one-day advocacy and sensitisation forum, tagged “Sustainable production of high quality seed yam for wealth creation and empowerment”, was organised by IITA, in collaboration with Root and Tuber Division of FMARD.

 

 

 

 

 

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Agriculture

1,300 rice farmers receive input for dry season farming in Delta–RIFAN

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Mr Anthony Umunna, Delta Chairman, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) said that no fewer than 1,300 registered members of the association in the state have received inputs for dry season farming.

The RIFAN chairman, who disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Asaba, lamented the late arrival of the inputs for the year’s dry season farming season.

Umunna said though members received the inputs; paddy rice, herbicides, water pumps among others for the year’s dry season farming, they might not be able to plant until about September ending when the rains would have subsided.

He said that there was need for a review of the farming calendar between the northern and southern parts of Nigeria to enable timely release of inputs to farmers because of the difference in weather conditions.

According to Umunna, the quest for the release of the inputs have been on since to enable farmers in the south engage in this year’s dry season farming.

“As at today, 1,300 registered rice farmers in Delta have received paddy rice, herbicides, and water pumping machines among other inputs for 2019 dry season farming.

“In spite of our efforts, the inputs came late and as our farmers will have to wait till the end of September for the rains to subside before planting.

“This is why we are appealing to government for timely release of the inputs to enable our farmers work with the seasonal timetable and key into the dry season farming and that of the wet seasons farming appropriately,’’ he said.

He appealed to the farmers not to lose their patience as everything possible was being done by the association to ensure that all registered rice farmers benefited from the CBN-RIFAN Anchor Borrowers Scheme aimed at boosting rice production in Nigeria.

He also called on all the South-South governors to support the programme and ensure that farmers in the area got full benefits, adding that the programme would not only create jobs but also boost the economy and create wealth.

NAN reports that the programme is part of the CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme in Partnership with RIFAN to boost rice production in the country.

 

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