Taraba state Governor Darius Ishaku, Sunday said his administration would continue to support farmers to ensure that the state is in its rightful place in the agricultural map of Nigeria.
Ishaku, who stated this during the flag off of input distribution for 2019 main cropping season in Sunkani in Ardo-Kola LGA of the state by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) said a total of 8,077 Taraba farmers have been supported with agro-inputs by the programme for rice and cassava production between 2015 and 2019.
Ishaku, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Jeremiah Danjuma appreciated the efforts of IFAD-VCDP and the state government for the input support to farmers to boost rice and cassava production in the state.
He warned benefiting farmers not to sell the inputs but use them for the purpose intended.
On his part, the state Programme Coordinator, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), Irimiya Musa said 1,781 farmers were selected to benefit from the support in 2019.
He stated that the programme was supporting benefiting farmers with 50 per cent of the total cost of inputs amounting to N64.5 million in this year’s cropping season.
“This exercise is to support our farmers on a matching grant basis of 50 per cent contribution from farmers to be paid directly to the accredited input dealers at the point of collection while the programme pays the balance of 50 per cent thereafter.
“This is just one of the many supports provided to our farmers to move them from an average 1.5 to 5.9 metric tonnes per hectare for rice during raining season and from 2.5 to 7.89 irrigated farming,” he said.
He stressed that farmers had been linked up with off-takers to buy off their produce to avoid the situation where they will be stranded after harvest.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Fatima Abdullahi appreciated the government for the efforts in supporting farmers to boost agriculture in the state.
Bags of fertilisers, agro chemicals, sprayers, rice seedlings and cassava stems were distributed to benefiting farmers at the occasion.