ALHAJI Bello Galoji, the Youth Wing Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Bauchi, has suggested that the distribution of fertilisers should be handled by agriculture extension officers to minimise diversion of the commodity.

Speaking on Tuesday in Bauchi, Galoji said that this approach would not only minimise diversion, but also ensure that the commodity reached peasant farmers.

He noted that most extension officers were civil servants, familiar with the rural farmers and their terrain, adding that they were in a better position to do the job.

The chairman said that the hiccups experienced in the procurement and distribution of fertiliser would have a negative effect on the 2011 harvest in Bauchi State.

“There was no fertiliser at the period that the state witnessed consistent rainfall and most farmers could not afford the cost at the open market.

“Again, it was too late for them to start source for local manure from the State Environmental Protection Agenc, and so they were in a fix.

“The only hope of good harvest this year is from beans, groundnut and the like, which are all cash and not food crops,” he said.

Galoji stressed the need for the state government to establish a waste recycling plant that would produce manure from refuse for sale at subsidised rate to farmers.

According to him, the manure will reduce the pressure on fertiliser and make same less attractive to middlemen, who have been thwarting government’s effort at making the product affordable to rural farmers.

He also called on the government to revive the dormant Agriculture Training Centres in Ningi, Darazo, Durun and Dass, and use them in training agriculture personnel on modern farming techniques.

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