The Nasarawa State government is collaborating with the Rice Farmers Association, with plans already concluded to attract investment to the tune of N10bn, to assist rice farmers in the state, under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) anchor borrowers scheme.
Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, disclosed this while flagging-off the sales of fartilizer and other agricultural inputs, for this year’s raining season, at Andaha, in Akwanga Local Government Area, on Thursday.
The governor restated the determination of his administration to ensure that agricultural potentials of the state are fully harnessed for the overall benefit of the people.
According to Engineer Sule, until the state is able to exploit its agricultural potentials properly, Nasarawa may not be able to generate the desired employment for the teeming populace, as well as create wealth for the wellbeing of the society.
The governor emphasized that government must take deliberate steps, as well as evolve means of improving the state’s internal revenue generation capacity.
To this end, Engineer Sule said, and in a bid to foster partnerships and collaborations, aimed at giving agriculture its place of pride, the state government recently hosted some important visitors including Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, management of the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization, chief executive and management team of the Institute for Agricultural Research, chief executive of Dangote Group of Company and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, among others.
“This endeavour epitomizes the readiness of our Administration to foster partnerships and collaboration towards giving agriculture its pride of place.
“I am happy to inform that Government has already concluded plans in collaboration with the Rice Farmers Association to attract investment of a whopping of sum of N10 Billion to assist rice farmers in the State under the CBN’s Anchor Borrowers Programme,” he stated.
While reiterating the commitment of his administration to develop agriculture because of its huge potentials in the state, the governor stressed that government will continue to partner and collaborate with development partners, as well as investors in the agricultural sector, in order to reduce poverty, improve income, create employment, produce raw materials for industrial growth, as well as attain food security.
Speaking on the event, Engineer Sule disclosed that his administration is flagging-off the sales of a total of 1,020 metric tons which is 20,400 thousand bags of fertilizer, 1,950 sprayers, 5 tons improved seeds and assorted agro-chemicals.
He disclosed further that effort is underway to procure more quantities of fertilizer to help rejuvenate most of our soils that have remained less fertile and unproductive.
The governor emphasized that the fertilizer will be sold to farmers at subsidized rate of N5000 only per bag.
He recalled that, last year, the state government procured and distributed 240 metric tons of assorted fertilizers to dry season farmers at subsidized rates, while also procuring 930 metric tons (18,600 bags) of NPK 20:10:10 fertilizer for the year 2020 cropping season, aimed at improving agricultural production in the state.
The governor charged beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the commodity to increase their yields.
“I wish to also charge the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources and the Local Government Distribution Committee to ensure that the relevant Small Holder Farmers benefit from this gesture of Government,” he said.
Engineer Sule warned against any attempt to hijack the sales of fertilizer and other farming inputs, stressing that violators will be met with stiff punitive measures, irrespective of their status in the society.
“Coordinators at various levels are to ensure remittance of sales to the designated bank account as any misappropriation will be meted with appropriate sanction.
“I should also caution individuals and groups against purchasing the commodity and selling to farmers at exorbitant rates,” to the governor warned.