By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON.
A bag of fertilizer will soon cost less than N6,000 in Nigeria, following an agreement reached on its supply between the Federal Government and the Government of Morocco, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has announced.
He also announced government’s plans to create special grazing reserves for herdsmen across the country, revealing that the Federal Government would also train 3,000 Civil Defense Officers to protect herdsmen from cattle rustlers.
Chief Ogbeh made the revelation in Kano, during the 2017 wheat harvest ceremony at Garun- Babba, in Garun- Mallam Local Government area of the state.
“President Buhari signed an agreement with the Moroccan Government, we went to Morocco and had a good agreement for phosphate import. With the importation of phosphate we will put fertilizer on the market for less than N6, 000,” he said.
He said already, blending plants in the country have swung into action, assuring that the Federal government would continue to support farmers to produce more for local consumption and export.
The Minister lamented that before the Federal government’s renewed drive on agriculture, the country was losing millions of dollars annually to import rice, wheat and milk, which could be produced in sufficient quantity locally.
Chief Ogbeh who praised the government of Kano for leading the way in rice processing and agricultural transforming in the country assured of the support of the Federal government towards transforming the sector.
He announced plans to create special grazing reserves for herdsmen across the country, revealing that the Federal Government would also train 3,000 Civil Defense Officers to protect herdsmen from cattle rustlers.
Earlier, the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, disclosed that his administration had granted a loan of N100 million each to wheat and rice farmers associations in the state to enable them purchase seedlings and other requited consumables to boost their endeavor, even as free storage facilities have been provided for them to prevent undue loss.
“The state government recently approved N50 million short-term loans for wheat farmers who need quick cash, to prevent them from selling off their produce at give-away prices, until its price stabilized in the market”, the governor added.
In addition, he said the administration recently purchased 500 zero fuel water pumping machines and placed order for the supply of 5,000 as part of commitment to boost irrigation in the state, assuring that his administration is willing to support wheat and rice farmers to boosts their productivity.
On cattle grazing, the governor announced that “a large expanse of land would be provided around Dansoshiya in Kiru Local Government area to serve as model settlement for herdsmen, in a bid to curtail recurring clashes between farmers and herdsmen”.
Governor Ganduje also recalled that his administration trained 60 Fulani youth in artificial insemination, in Turkey, to expose them to modern breeding techniques, revealing that refrigerators would also be provided to Fulani dairy women as part of value addition to dairy chain.
The Flour Milling Association of Nigeria, represented by Alhaji Sa’idu Zakari Garun Babba, commended the Federal government for its renewed commitment to agricultural development, restating that they would off-take all the wheat produced by wheat farmers in the country.
Also speaking the chairman of the board of directors, New Nigerian Development Company, NNDC, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu, disclosed that the 19 Northern Governors have been given approval to board to establish an agricultural commodity marketing board, envisaged to purchased excess produce, create more jobs and generally add value to the economy of the region.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture, inaugurated the Kano FADAMA tractorization scheme, inspected the state seed processing facility being renovated at Kadawa and undertook a guided tour of the state fertilizer blending plant and other facilities at state-owned Kano state Agricultural Supply Company, KASCO, Dakata, in Kano metropolis.
He commended the government of Kano state under Governor Ganduje for leading the agricultural revolution in the country, hoping other states would emulate the shining example.