FG Empowers Smallholder Farmers With Agricultural Inputs, Others

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L-R: The commissioner of agriculture, Kaduna State, Alhaji Ibrahim Hossaini; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar; and director, federal department of agriculture, Engr. Abdullahi Abubakar during the flag off ceremony in Kaduna State.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, has flagged off the roll-out and distribution of agricultural inputs to small-holder farmers in Kaduna State, stating that it would open up investment opportunities, create jobs for stakeholders and facilitate increased production as well as food and nutrition security.

The event which took place today (June 3, 2022) at the ministry’s state office at livestock House, Mando Road, Kaduna State, featured the distribution of seeds of different crops (certified seed yams and organic growth enhancers) and various agricultural equipment and agrochemicals.

The minister informed that the agricultural sector has been the priority of the present administration to stimulate local production of food aimed at achieving self-sufficiency, attracting investments, creating job opportunities and enhancing the livelihood of farmers.

“The sector became one of the major contributors to the country’s economy, contributing about 25 per cent to our Gross Domestic Products (GDP), small-holder farmers accounting for about 70 per cent of national food production.”

Abubakar said that this was achieved through the implementation of strategic policies such as the Agriculture for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP), the Green Imperative, Agricultural Promotion Policy, as well as the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative (PFI) among others.

He added that “the impact of these policies and programmes manifested during the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a lot of disruptions along the agricultural value chains, leading to global trade disruptions, resulting in heavy economic losses to farmer’s livelihood’’.

Abubakar revealed that 35 per cent of the inputs were targeted at women farmers in line with the objectives set in the National Gender Plan and Policies aimed at ensuring increased opportunities for women; while 15 per cent were targeted at farmers with special needs.

He, therefore, urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of these inputs to produce food for the nation while calling on other stakeholders to provide similar support to small-holder farmers ‘’so that, together, we can work and become self-sufficient in food production’’.

Earlier, the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-rufai, represented by the State Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Ibrahim Hossaini appreciated President Buhari’s led Government for the flag-off exercise in the state, stating that it would cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, promote all-season farming, boost production and generate income for the farmers and the state at large.

In his remarks, the director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Engr. Abdullah Abubakar commended the smallholder farmers who produce the bulk of food consumed by the nation for their perseverance, tenacity and commitment to agriculture. 

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Esther Audu, lauded the ministry’s policies in the sector geared towards assisting smallholder farmers in terms of agricultural Inputs and equipment. She also promised that they will make good use of the products to create more jobs and increase yield and economic growth. 

A statement by the ministry’s director of information signed by Ikemefuna Ezeaja, said the agricultural inputs and quality seeds distributed included; 450 knapsack sprayers, 30 big maize threshers, 8 sesame cleaning machines, 80 mechanical cashew pickers, 18 ginger slicing machines, 8 hammer mill with cyclone, 8 ‘acha; processing machines, a 400-litre Super Boron Fertilizer, 400 litres of Glyphosate herbicide, 400 litres of Agrizyme, 1000 litres of Growtech (growth enhancer), 1440 pineapple peelers, 4 rhizome-washing machines, 6 mini-milling machines, 15 solar water pumps, 230 spaghetti machines, 15 corn harvesters, 30 bag closers, 4800 zerofly bags, 3200 resilate, 500 watering cans, 1450 Cypermethrin and 80 water pumps.

While the quality seeds were 500 bags of 25kg certified rice, 300 bags of 20 kg certified maize seed, 300 bags of 29 kg certified sorghum seed, 300 bags of 20kg certified millet seed/cowpea seed and 30,000 certified yam seed.

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