Benue state government Thursday flagged off sales and distribution of assorted fertilizers for the 2021 cropping season.
The state government also said it has engaged vendors to supply 141 trucks of fertiliser, an equivalent of 4,230 metric tons of granulated inorganic fertilizer, 5 trucks of granulated organic fertiliser, an equivalent of 150 metric tons for the 2021 cropping season.
Speaking at the 2021 flag-off of cropping season, fertilizer sales and distribution to Benue farmers, at the Industrial Layout, Makurdi, Governor Samuel Ortom, said a 50kg bag of Urea which was procured for N12,000 would be sold to farmers at N6,000.
The governor stated that 50kg bag of NPK which was procured for N9,000 would also be sold to farmers for N5,000, representing 40 percent subsidy.
The governor stated that the efforts were a deliberate move by his administration to add value to the development of agriculture, pointing out that 50 tractors were procured and distributed to farmers at highly subsidised rate to encourage mechanised farming.
Governor Ortom commended the federal government for steps taken to cushion the effect of the 2017 and 2018 flood disaster on Benue farmers by the provision of fertiliser to farmers through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
He directed security agents to arrest and prosecute anyone caught sabotaging efforts of his administration towards ensuring that the fertiliser get to the real farmers.
Speaker of the Benue state House of Assembly, Rt Hon Titus Uba, commended the governor for the supply of fertiliser to farmers, saying it would boost agricultural productivity and further portray the state as Food Basket of the Nation.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Timothy Ijir, said the governor had not failed the people by providing fertiliser and farm inputs to Benue farmers at subsidised rates since the inception of his administration.
On his part, chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Terwase Aondoakaa, said the distribution of seedlings to farmers and fertilisers would go a long way in enhancing agricultural productivity and urged those involved to ensure that the commodity gets to the desired users.