Sokoto state government says it has secured N4 billion to be disbursed as loan to farmers across the state in its effort to promote cultivation of cash crops toward reducing impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal stated this on Wednesday when he launched the sales and distribution of fertiliser and other farm inputs for 2020 wet season farming in the state.
Tambuwal said the cash crops include rice, wheat and tomato among others, stressing that the move was part of plans and strategies to mitigate the cumulative effects of the Coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging the world, especially on the agricultural sphere.
“The credit facility to boost cash cropping was meant to support small holder farmers, who occupied over 85 per cent of the farming population in the state to produce rice, wheat, tomato and other food cash crops.
“The credit facility will also cover other segments of the agricultural value chain, especially those engaged in the area of processing, storage and marketing,” Tambuwal said.
He added that the government had intensified efforts to diversify the local economy through collaborating with a Turkish firm to promote massive cultivation of Sesame seeds in the current wet season.
The governor assured the people that there was a definite market and better price for all those who took part in the venture.
He reiterated that his administration would continue to deliver its promises in both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors of the State’s economy with a view to ensure self-sufficiency in food production and other agro-industrial materials.
According to him, efforts are geared toward creating wealth and generate employment for women and youths through agricultural transformation.
Tambuwal observed that taken cognisance of the geographical location of the state, government was spearheading a responsibility of linking with all relevant institutes to update its farmers on latest farming technologies.
He said other effort included purchasing more improved seeds, which are adaptable to our environment with a view to mitigating the negative impact of climate change on agriculture.
On the fertiliser, the governor said that the government had expended N3.4 billion on the procurement of fertiliser that would be sold to farmers across at the state at subsidised rates to boost wet season farming.
According to him, the state government procured a total of 24,270 metric tonnes of assorted fertiliser comprising NPK and Urea at the stated sum and will sell same at the subsidised rates of N4, 000 per bag of NPK and N5, 000 per bag of Urea.
He said N7.4 billion was expended on Wet season farming to enhance agricultural activities in the state.
In his address, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Arzika Tureta, applauded the efforts of the governor, pointing out that apart from the subsidised sale of fertiliser, the governor had provided agricultural inputs.
Tureta said the state government had also undertaken the rehabilitation of dams as well as employing experts to enhance modern agriculture.
Mr Bello Halliru-Guiwa, the sole administrator of Wamakko Local Government Area, commended Tambuwal on the giant strides made by government on different areas.
He thanked the government on peoples’ oriented projects and prayed for more support for the governor’s administration to achieve maximum success.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/ Felix Ajide (NAN)
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