Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has flagged off the sales of 1, 035 metric tons of fertilizer for the 2022 cropping season, to be sold at the subsidized rate of N10, 000 per bag.
Engineer Sule performed the flag-off ceremony at the Government House, on Tuesday.
The Governor stated that, his administration is determined to ensure that agricultural potentials of the state are fully harnessed for the overall benefit of the people, stressing that government may not be able to generate sufficient employment to the teeming youths without a viable agricultural sector.
He pointed out that his administration will take deliberate steps, as well as evolve means of improving Internal Revenue Generation of the state.
The Governor emphasized that during the 2022 farming season, his administration will execute projects aimed at improving agricultural development, by evolving critical strategy to bring about stable agro-economic society.
This according to Engineer Sule, will be achieved through mechanised agriculture, as well as agro-allied industries, despite challenges such as banditry, farmer/herder conflicts and inadequate resources.
Considering that Nasarawa State has tremendous potentials in agriculture, the Governor explained that his administration recently organised the Nasarawa Investment Summit, in order to open up opportunities for the exploration of the abundant mineral resources, especially in the agricultural sector.
He disclosed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the Maina Rice Company to train farmers in rice processing and marketing, amongst others.
Engineer Sule added that, as part of the commitment of his administration to revolutionise agriculture, the state government has keyed into the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), saddled with the responsibility for the construction of rural roads that will enable our teeming farmers to transport their products to the markets.
He reiterated that this endeavour will no doubt, enhance effective transformation of the agricultural for value chain addition.
Also, as part of the determination of his administration to turn around the agricultural sector, the state government also entered into an agreement with the Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority to access 500 hectares of land in Doma Local Government Area for the production of rice in the state.
“This is intended to provide employment opportunity for our teeming youth, as well as cushioning the post-COVID-19 hardship, as well as open vistas of opportunities and wealth creation through agriculture,” he stated.
While charging the beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the commodity to increase their yields, Engineer Sule warned that those handling the fertilizer sales will be held responsible for any anomaly in the distribution of the fertilizer in their respective domain.
“Coordinators at various levels are to ensure remittance of sales to the designated bank account as any misappropriation will be meted with appropriate sanction,” he added.
He further cautioned individuals and groups against purchasing the commodity with the intent of selling to farmers at exorbitant rates.
State Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources, Nuhu Oshafu, in his welcome address, commended Governor Sule, for Initiating an agricultural policy aimed at enhancing the productivity of farmers in the state, aimed at increasing and sustaining food production.
Oshafu disclosed that his ministry has pursued and implemented farmer friendly policies, including regular provision of critical farm input such as fertilizer and agrochemicals to farmers.
In a goodwill message, Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs, HRH Justice Sidi Bage (rtd), appreciated the Governor for embarking on a policy that will ensure food security in the state, as well as the country at large.
The royal father specifically commended Engineer Sule for commencing the sales of fertilizer and other farming input at the right time when farmers in the state will need the intervention, unlike in the past when such activities mostly come late into the season