Hajiya Salamatu Garba, Founder, Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to provide enabling environment to make fertiliser available to farmers at the controlled price.
Garba told New Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja that the Federal Government should do all it could to ensure farmers got fertiliser for the approved price of N5,500.
She said that because of the various challenges surrounding the distribution of fertiliser, it had been difficult for farmers to access the fertiliser being distributed by the Federal Government.
“Even though the Federal Government says fertiliser is N5000, farmers have not been able to get it for that price due to various reasons such as transportation and conditions of the road.
“We buy from N7, 000 to N10, 000 depending on where you are buying from and this is not good for the farmers,” she said.
Garba said that it was only in Kano State that farmers could go to KASCO fertiliser blending plant from any part of the 44 local government areas to buy fertiliser easily.
“This is not the same in other parts of the country and because of this it had been difficult for farmers to buy fertiliser at government price.
“They still need to carry the fertiliser to rural areas and pay extra for transportation so it is not possible to sell at government price.
“Before the government will come out and say that fertiliser is N5, 500, it needs to provide enabling environment.
“This is because it is not possible to buy at N5,500 and after paying extra to take the fertiliser to the rural areas, we still sell at the same prize,” she said.
She said infrastructure such as good roads must be in place for easy movements of goods and services.
The founder commended the Federal Government for putting some initiative in place to move agriculture forward.
The founder of WOFAN, however, advocated that the private sector should buy into the programme of agricultural ownership for women and youths to give them dignity and respect.
She said that the Federal Government needed to look into multiple taxation for small scale farmers because taxes were favourable for the big time farmers only.
Garba lamented that it was only the big off takers that were mostly favoured by the banks, while the smaller ones were ignored and this could become a problem for the middlemen soon.
She said that the middlemen did not have the rural structures that would take to reach the big off takers and if they were not recognised, it could create a problem along the chain.
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Grace Yussuf