By Ado Hassan , Sokoto
NOT less than N3.4 billion has been expended by the Sokoto state government on the procurement of assorted fertilizer for sale and distribution to farmers across at the state at subsidized rates.
The procurement was aimed at boosting agricultural development, particularly the wet season farming,
Similarly, 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.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state made the disclosures in the state capital Wednesday during the inauguration he of the sales and distribution of fertilizer and other farm inputs for 2020 wet season.
The governor said the state government procured a total of 24, 270 metric tonnes of assorted fertilizer (NPK and Urea) for sale at subsidized rates of N4,000 per bag of NPK and N5,000 per bag of Urea respectively.
Tambuwal explained that the essence was part of ‘”plans and strategies to mitigate the cumulative effects of the (Corona virus) pandemic currently ravaging the world especially on the agricultural sphere.”
Similarly, the governor also disclosed that the state government’s 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 the same vein, Tambuwal said in its drive to diversify the local economy, the state government 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.
He said ” it is 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.”
However, 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.”
Earlier, 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.”