Bauchi Governor motivates farmers on food production

July 23, 2022

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From Ahmad SAKA, Bauchi

Bauchi State Governor, Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir has motivated farmers in the State to enable them produce sufficient food this farming season.

Governor Bala stated this today at the launching of 2022 farming season and flagging off fertilizer sales held at the Bauchi State Agricultural Development Programme BSADP outstation in Nabordo, Toro Local Government Area on Saturday, He said that “The State Government decided to make fertilizer available and affordable to farmers by subsidizing the price of the commodity. Consequently, a 50Kg bag of NPK would be sold at N15,000 while a 50Kg bag of Urea would be sold at N20,000.”

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He said expressed his displeasure at the activities of some selfish and unpatriotic citizens who engage in adulterating all kinds of agricultural inputs and selling such to innocent farmers who are desperately in need of the commodities.

The Governor said that “I consider this as an act of sabotage and the perpetrators would be traced, apprehended and sanctioned appropriately”.

The Governor, directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and that of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to immediately constitute a task force committee comprising security agencies and all other stakeholders to arrest and deal with all culprits accordingly.

He said , “Already, I am aware that Agro-input dealers union of the State have started fighting against this bad habit, and I am assuring you of the support of the State Government.”

Governor Bala said that “As I stated earlier, the war between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in the shortage of ammonia which is the major raw material for the production of fertilizer. This has in turn led to the astronomical rise in the cost of fertilizer. This State of affairs would naturally have a negative impact on crop production”.

He said that the annual launching of the farming season and flag off of the sale of fertilizer is a deliberate effort by the Government to motivate farmers to come out en masse for the production of sufficient food crops to cater for the increasing population and also to embrace agriculture as an economic mainstay.

He however lamented that the paucity of funds has been a constraint to the Government towards meeting its various obligations saying, “In spite of this constraint, however, the agricultural sector has been accorded the priority it deserves.”

He pointed out, “This priority can be attested to by the settlement of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) inherited debt which enabled the State Government to produce fertilizer last year.”

The Governor said that “It may interest the general public to know that Ukraine is the world’s largest producer of ammonia which is the major ingredient for the production of fertilizer. The current war between Russia and Ukraine has made the production of the raw material by Ukraine impossible which lowers its supply with the attendant hike in the price of fertilizer worldwide”.

“Despite the high competition for the supply of ammonia by various countries, the State Government is highly committed to providing the commodity at any cost so that farmers will get the fertilizer at a reasonable price”, the Governor assured.

He said , “in our relentless effort to train our teaming youths and farmers of the State on good agricultural practices, our Administration has spent over N75,000,000:00 for the provision of a befitting accommodation to the State branch of the Agricultural and Rural
Management Training Institute (ARMTI)”.

He said that” You may wish to know that before now, ARMTI has only one branch at its headquarters in Ilorin. However, the Federal Government recently decided to open six more branches based on geo-political zones,
consequent upon which we struggled to get the North-East Zonal branch established in Bauchi”.
Governor Bala said that the State Government has also signed an MOU
with the Tetfund Centre of Excellence of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi in a move to educate the young ones on new farming techniques.

He said that “there is no doubt that our dear tat blessed with both human and land resources. It is therefore imperative for us as a Government to properly harness these resources for optimum agricultural production for economic prosperity.”

Governor said that “It is pursuant to this that we engaged the services of an International Agricultural Consultancy Firm, known as Techgen Agro Consultants Limited for the development of 200,000 Ha of Land for mechanized farming across the State.”

The Governor explained that “It is an N50 Billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loan for Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS). The programme is specifically targeted at all the youth in the State as the beneficiaries.”

He assured that the 1,000 youths who have been trained in crop production, livestock, fisheries and poultry will be the pioneer beneficiaries of the programme disclosing that, “We
have decided to source the fund through Bauchi Investment Company (BIC) because the programme is going to be a full business enterprise in order to increase the economic capacities of our dear farmers. The Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as the Bauchi Investment Company, have already been directed to put all hands on deck for the successful implementation of the programme.”

He said that the state government are also committed to the development of the livestock sub-sector saying that, “to this end, Government has taken appropriate measures to ensure the breeding of healthy livestock.”

“Consequently, approval has been granted for the release of N44 Million for the annual livestock vaccination for the year 2022. An ultra-modern Specialist Veterinary Clinic would also be constructed at Ran Gate in Bauchi Metropolis.”

Also, in order to improve and modernize agricultural production, the Bauchi State Agricultural Development Programme (BSADP) has been carrying out activities, among others: rendering agricultural extension services to farmers; Partnering with Agricultural Research Institutes for sourcing improved agricultural innovations for use by farmers to enhance productivity.

He said approval has been granted to the Bauchi State Agricultural Supply Company (BASAC) for the procurement and sale of agricultural inputs at a subsidized price.

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