The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has flagged-off yet another distribution of free Agricultural Inputs and quality seeds to smallholders farmers in Gombe State.
A statement by the Chief Information office at the ministry, Mr Ezeaja Ikemefuna, on Sunday said the minister revealed that the exercise would ensure food and nutrition security, create more jobs for teaming Nigerian youths and boost dry-season farming.
While performing the exercise at the Ministry’s office complex in Gombe, Gombe State at the weekend, the Minister said that it is part of the mitigation measures against the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and the flood disaster that wrecked havoc on the farmlands.
He said that the Ministry would support breeder and foundation seed production and link up with the private seed companies to ensure that certified seeds are available to local farmers nationwide.
Shehuri stated that improved rural infrastructure and other value chain support would invariably contribute to the attainment of Mr. President’s desire towards ensuring easy access to quality food and nutrition for Nigerians.
He informed that ‘’ the ministry has supported Gombe state with subsidised inputs with over 350 3HP and 30 7HP irrigation pumps, multipurpose threshers, over 70 Motorized and dual powered sprayers amongst others. Under our world bank assisted nutrition Programme, we have provided multiple trainings and homestead farming input packages including tomato, pepper, pawpaw among others in 5 local government areas in the state as well as irrigation kits designed to improve the household nutrition’’.
According to the Minister,’’ the small holder farmers in the State will today receive the following free inputs; 10,000 Gum Arabic Seedlings, 15MT of rice seed, 2.5 MT groundnut foundation seeds, 1,000 KG of Castor seeds, 1,500 KG of cashew nuts as well as Ratkin and Liptol – organic insecticides to combat army worm infestation and Equipment like water pumps, maize threshers among others’’.
He stated that ‘’so far, the ministry has performed similar exercise in Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Oyo, Cross River and Imo states, with this being the 8th edition, assisting smallhohders farmers with quality inputs to ensure sustainable food security, job creation and revenue generation to grow the nation’s economy’’.
The minister emphasized that ‘’in our input distribution efforts, at least 35% of these inputs are targeted at the women farmers, this is in line with the targets set in our national gender action plan and policies aimed at ensuring increased opportunities for women’’.
He also said that ‘’ in order to alleviate the effect of flood on farmers, inputs were distributed to farmers in Jigawa, Kebbi, Nasarawa and Benue state’’.