PLSG procures 20,000 metric tons of fertilizer

The Plateau State government has placed an order for the procurement of 20,000 metric tons of assorted chemical fertilizer under the Federal Government special fertilizer programme for distribution to farmers across the state for this year’s farming season.
Governor Simon Lalong who disclosed this while declaring open a 2-day first Plateau State Farmers Summit in Jos, Wednesday, said arrangements have already been conducted for the farmers to start reserving the fertilizers by next week.
Represented by his Deputy, Professor Sonni Tyoden, the governor maintained that this was in keeping with the promise of getting fertilizer early to farmers, adding that the sales of the fertilizer was billed to commence across the state immediately after the launch by next week.
He said in its quest to provide an enabling environment for farmers to operate, government said the need to create farmers data base for effective policy formulation, regulation, revenue tracking and collection, stressing that the data base has also been employed for disease control and monitoring.
Other measure the government has taken, according to Governor Lalong were the provision of subsidy on farm inputs adding that since the inception of this administration, a total of 39,800 metric have been provided to farmers at 50 percent subsidy.
The state government, according to him has also procured Agro-chemicals and rice seed for this year’s farming season for sale to farmers also at 50 percent subsidy and called on farmers to visit the PADP for procurement of the seeds and chemicals.
Others included procurement of 400 units of tractors, payment of counterpart fund to the Fadama III and additional financing and potato value chain development proggramme under the African Development Bank (ADB) finance project which gave rise to the establishment of the Fadama Farmers Micro Finance Bank commissioned recently in the state.
Lalong also said the farmers summit as an assembly of major stakeholders in the agricultural sector was expected to discuss issues critical to the development of agriculture in the state and to specifically look into ways of maximizing the benefits attainable in all the agricultural value chains that the states have comparative advantage.
Minister of agricultural and Rural Development, Audu Ogbe represented by Director of tree crops in the ministry, Mr. Olalekam Adekunle said the diversification of the economy through agriculture in view of the falling oil prices was inevitable.
The minister while congratulating the Plateau government for organizing the farmers summit saying Nigeria as a nation must produce what we eat.
He said a number of policy reforms were being undertaken by the present administration aimed at reviving agriculture in the country hence the formulation of a policy document and called on stakeholders as well as farmers to key into any of the sectors such as production, processing and transportation.
Plateau State commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Lynda Barau said the summit was aimed at remodeling agriculture and the theme was apt as it captured the strategic approach of the governor and the change philosophy of the APC government to boost the economy and commended Governor Lalong for the approval of the summit.
The state according to Barau has a high agricultural capacity for the production of both crops and livestock adding that the governor has also increased the momentum of the agric sector by the payment of counterpart funding and partnership with private sector the Plateau.
She added on assumption office, she set up a four mission strategy to achieve the governors vision of making the state hub of economic transformation in the country.
She said government has established linkage with the Federal Ministry of Agricultural, private sector and donor agencies based on the need for a formidable rise in extension workers processors and marketers that could lead to the actualization of agricultural programme among others.
She said the ministry has achieved a lot within the period under review which she said include desk information office which was fully operational leading to the registration of about 100 anchor borrowers which was the highest in the country.
According to Barau the ministry has also gotten approval for a multi-million naira loan with 25 years tenure for repayment from the African Development Bank (ADB) for rice value chain and implementation to commence soon.
High points of the event were the inspection of exhibition of some assorted farm produce, livestock as well as high capacity and mechanized farm implement.

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