The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr.
Mohammad Abubakar has flagged-off the distribution of Agricultural Inputs and quality seeds to encourage smallholders farmers in Plateau State and boost production.
The Minister stated that that the inputs would stimulate local production of food to achieve self-sufficiency, all season farming, attract investments, create jobs and enhance the livelihood of farming families in the plateau and environs.
Dr Abubakar stated that the Agric sector has become one of the major contributors to the country’s economy, contributing about 25 per cent to our Gross Domestic product( GDP) and smallholder farmers accounting for about 70 per cent of national food production.
The Minister pointed out that “this was achieved through the implementation of strategic policies such as the Agriculture for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP), the Green Imperative, Agricultural Promotion Policy, as well as the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) among others”.
He noted that “the impact of these policies and programmes manifested during the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a lot of disruptions along the Agricultural Value Chains, leading to global trade disruptions, resulting in heavy economic losses to farmer’s livelihood”.
Abubakar stated that to cushioned the effect of the pandemic “the Ministry designed a support programme targeting small-holder farmers to enable them get back to the farms and continue production to sustainably rebuild their production activities and their means of livelihood.
This is to enhance farming family income, create jobs and generate wealth”.
He informed that ‘’among the numerous initiatives being implemented by the Ministry and the farmers will be supported with inputs Seeds, Growth Enhancers, Seedlings, Sprayers, Equipment among others.
“35 per cent of these items will go to Women Cooperative Groups, 15 percent to people with Special needs while 50 percent will go to Farmer Associations in various production clusters”.
The Minister appealed to the beneficiaries of to make judicious use of these inputs in order to enhance food production in our dear country.
He also appreciated the resilience of the farmers and urged them to key into the various intervention programmes of the Federal Government.
He also lauded the Plateau State Government and Development Partners at both National and sub-national levels for their continuous support to the present administration in its focus towards achieving food sufficiency.
In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong , appreciated the President Muhammadu Buhari led Government for the flag-off exercise in the state, stating that it would cushion the effect of the COVID–19 Pandemic, promote dry season farming, boost production and generate income for the farmers and the state at large.
Governor Lalong stated that “as a government, we have done so much in addressing the problems of farmers-herder conflicts as well as guaranteeing the safety of our farmers.
Plateau State is among few States which is in the process of implementing modern ranching which is encapsulated in the National Livestock Transformation Program (NLTP).
We have sent a draft bill to the State House of Assembly which is receiving the desired attention and will hopefully be passed soon”.
He informed that “ the Yakubu Gowon Airport has been designated as an international cargo airport, we shall begin the export of exotic farm products such as vegetables, flowers, rice, maize, potato and yam which are unique and peculiar to our weather.
In her Goodwill message, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, who was represented by the Ag.
Director, Women Development in the Ministry, Funke Oladupo appealed to the women smallholder farmers to ensure that the Agricultural Inputs are utilised towards improving their livelihood and boost production.
The Agricultural Inputs and Quality seeds distributed are as follows; 99 bags of Yam seeds, 100 bags of Samnut, 100 bags of cow pea seeds, 80 bags of Samaz seeds, 80 bags of potatoes seeds, 20 bags of Cashew Nuts, 100 bags of maize seeds, 1,310 oil palm seedlings.
Others are 100 Pineapple Peeler, 46 Weeders, 27 Potato juicer Machine, 199 Knapack Sprayers, 20 Bag Closer, 83 3” Water Pump, 23 Solar Water Pump, 20 Grinding Machine, 44 Potato Row Planter, 400 Ltrs of FOG ( Liquid Fertiliser) and 5,000 Ltrs off Relisate ( Glyphosate), 10,000 Zero fly Bags and 5,000 Oil Plam Polythene Bags.
Similarly, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr.
Ernest Umakhihe distributed Agricultural Inputs for dry season farming to smallholder farmers in Osogbo, Osun State.
The items includes: 3,000 oil palm seedlings, 1500kg cashew seeds; 20,000 nos certified seed yams as well as 200 liters of pathaway organic growth enhancers.
Other are: 4,000 bundles of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes; 3000 bundles of cassava stems as well as various agricultural equipment and biochemicals.
Nigeria Distributes Dry Season Farming Inputs In Osun, Plateau