The Yobe state Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Hajiya Mairo Amshi, has said UNHCR proposed to distribute fertiliser and farming implements to a targeted 450 farmers in collaboration with the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yobe state.
She also said the state government had planned to commence the distribution of fertiliser and farming implements to 33,000 rural and urban farmers across the state during the raining season.
The commissioner stated this during the distribution of farming implements to 100 farmers who were part of the 450 targeted farmers in the state.
Hajiya Amshi further stated that the inability of commencement of the distribution earlier was necessitated by the ministry’s efforts to eliminate middlemen in the distribution process by way of making strenuous effort to identify the genuine farmers as beneficiaries with the support of community and traditional leaders before the commencement of the distribution.
She said:“One of the reasons for the delay in the distribution of our fertiliser is because we have to get out trusted farmers. We have already gotten 33,000 small scale registered farmers so far.”
“They are registered and we know their locations, their phone numbers. We have screened them to be sure they are real farmers. We are trying to eliminate middle men in the distribution of our fertiliser. That is why we are working with traditional rulers to achieve that goal.
“The state government will begin the distribution of fertilisers to farmers by next week Isha Allah. I cannot give you the number of tones now because it is too much or too little to say,” Amshi said.
The commissioner noted also that civil servants who are farmers in the state will benefit from the fertiliser as the state government has also captured them as farmers.
“Some have over 100 hectares of farm lands. So you can see that it will be injustice for such farmers not to benefit because they are civil servants. For us, we treat every farmer as farmers. Some are into crop farming, livestock, forestry etc.
“We did this in two categories, the small farmers and the civil servants to know their farm location using a geo-enabling system and we discovered that most civil servants are into farming. We urge the beneficiaries not to sell the products but put them into proper use,” Amshi said.
The representative of the AUN, Alhaji Usman Sani Chiromari said, “the major objective of UNHCR is to ensure social and economic rights are secured and opportunities for self-reliance maximized.
“This project is promoting livelihoods and self-reliance through skill acquisitions and empowerment with startups to prevent households and individuals from slipping into poverty and enable them support their communities.
“The target of the project are the vulnerable IDPs, returnee IDPs and members of the host communities affected by the insurgency”, Chiromari said.
Alhaji Usman further stated that a total of 450 beneficiaries across Yobe state are expected to benefit from the programme. But 50 beneficiaries per batch of 100 beneficiaries were selected for distribution because of COVID- 19 rules and guidelines.