By AbdulSalam Muhammad
KANO – It was a good news to Nigerian farmers following announcement by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe that a bag of fertilizer would soon cost less than N6, 000 in Nigeria.
Chief Ogbe optimism was sequel to an agreement reached between the Federal Government and the Government of Morocco on supply of the product.
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 said that arrangement on that order has been finalized.
Ogbe said “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,”
The Agricultural Minister disclosed that 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 the 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.