Plateau State government has commenced the distribution of 24,000 metric tonnes of assorted fertilizers it acquired for onward sale to farmers at the subsidised rate of N4,000 per bag.
The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, while flagging off the sale of fertilizers to farmers in Bokkos local government area yesterday, said agriculture is very key in his leadership drive.
He also said his administration is committed to bettering the lives of farmers in order to boost food supply.
Governor Lalong while addressing farmers said, “Realising that the bulk of our farmers and peasants can hardly afford the exorbitant priced fertilizers in the open market, government has subsidised the product by 50 per cent so that farmers can buy it at N4000 per bag”.
The governor said that government has adopted the method recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture, which he tasked to develop a workable plan that would ensure accountability in getting the input to targeted small holder farmers within reasonable period.
He stated that the distribution would be done using a registered list of farmers who have been captured in farmers’ database.
According to him, “In this arrangement the fertilizer supplier takes the commodity to a designated selling point of which 100 of these selling points have been earmarked across the state. The supplier will use the register of that selling point to sell the subsidised fertilizer at N4000 per 50kg bag and maximum of three bags per farmer under the supervision of government officials. I urge farmers to be vigilant enough, to ensure that this well thought out strategy formulated in their favour, works well in their communities.
He appealed to farmers who were not registered to be patient, pointing out that the registration would be continuous.
According to him, government has realised that it has only 400 functional tractors which translate to a dismal ratio of 0.2 tractors to 1000 hectares as against the global ratio of 42 tractors to 1000 hectares.
“Realising the importance of mechanisation, government has committed itself to a tripartite arrangement between farmers, banks and tractor suppliers. With the knowledge that issues of providing tractor services will better be handled and managed by farmers themselves. The government has graciously approved the provision of 40 per cent subsidy (30 per cent state and 10 per cent local governments) to capable farmers who desire to own tractors.”
He advised farmers to key into the Anchor Borrowers Programme, ABP, of the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria.


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