The Benue State Governent on Thursday flagged off sales and distribution of 146 trucks of assorted fertilizers to farmers for the 2021 cropping season.
Gov. Samuel Ortom while performing the ceremony in Makurdi, said that government had engaged vendors to supply 141 trucks of granulated inorganic fertilizer, equivalent of 4,230 metric tons.
“Also, five trucks of granulated organic fertiliser which is an equivalent of 150 metric tons,” he said
The governor said that the commodity would be sold to farmers at 50 per cent and 40 per cent subsidy for the different varieties.
He explained that a 50kg bag of Urea would be sold at N6,000 as against N12,000, while the same size for NPK fertilizer would go for N5,000 as against the N9,000 market price.
“The efforts are deliberate move by my administration to add value to the development of agriculture.
“My administration has procured 50 tractors and distributed to farmers at highly subsidized rate to encourage mechanised farming.
“I commend the Federal Government for steps taken to cushion the effect of the 2017 and 2018 flood disaster on Benue farmers by the provision of fertiliser to farmers through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA),” he said.
The governor directed security agencies to arrest and prosecute anyone caught sabotaging his administration’s efforts towards ensuring that the fertilizer got to the real farmers.
Speaking at the event, Speaker of the Benue Assembly, Mr Titus Uba, commended the governor for the gesture, saying that it would boost agricultural productivity and further portray the state as the Food Basket of the Nation.
Also, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Timothy Ijir, said that the governor had since inception of his administration, sustained the provision of fertilizer and farm inputs to Benue farmers at subsidized rates.
The Chairman, Benue Assembly Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Terwase Aondoakaa, said that the distribution of seedlings to farmers and fertilizers would go a long way in enhancing agricultural productivity.
He urged those involved in the distribution chain to guard against the diversion of the commodity. (NAN)