By Taofeek Lawal
In its efforts to boost agricultural development, particularly the wet season farming, Sokoto state government has expended the sum of N3.4 billion on the procurement of fertilizer that would be sold to farmers across at the state at subsidized rates.
In similar vein, the state government has secured a credit facility of N4 billion to be disbursed to farmers in the state to cultivate cash crops such as rice, wheat, tomato and others.
Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state disclosed these Wednesday when he launched the sales/distribution of fertilizer and other farm inputs for 2020 wet season farming in the state capital.
According to him, the state government procured a total of 24,270 metric tonnes of assorted fertilizer (NPK and Urea) at the stated sum and would sale same at the subsidized rates of N4,000 per bag of NPK and N5,000 per bag of Urea.
A statement made available to The Shield Online ( theshieldonlineng.com )by Muhammad Bello, Special Adviser Media and Publicity to Tambuwal, the governor the exercise is part of “plans and strategies… to mitigate the cumulative effects of the (Corona virus) pandemic currently ravaging the world especially on the agricultural sphere.”
As part of this too, the government is securing of a credit facility to boost cash cropping was meant “to support small holder farmers who occupy over 85% of the farming population in the state to produce rice, wheat, tomato and other food cash crops,” the governor stated.
He explained that: “the credit facility will also cover other segments of the agricultural value chain, especially those engaged in the area of processing, storage and marketing.”
In addition, the state government, in its drive to diversify the local economy, is collaborating “with a Turkish firm” to promote “the massive cultivation of Sesame seeds in the current wet season,” noted the governor who assured that “there is a definite market and better price” for all those who partook in the venture.
He reiterated that his administration “will continue to deliver it’s promises in both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors of our economy… with a view to ensure not only self-sufficiency in food production and other agro-industrial materials, but to create wealth and generate employment for women and youths through agricultural transformation.
Also, Tambuwal observed that taking cognisance of the geographical location of the state, government is spearheading the “responsibility of linking with all relevant institutes to update our farmers non latest farming technologies, purchasing more improved seeds which are adaptable to our environment with a view to mitigating the negative impact of climate change on agriculture.”
In his welcome address, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Muhammad Arzika Tureta, applauded the efforts of the governor, pointing out that apart from the subsidized sale of fertilizer and the provision of agricultural inputs, “the state government has also undertaken the rehabilitation of dams as well as employing experts to enhance modern agriculture.”