The Cross River Government says it will soon engage agro-dealers to provide quality inputs for farmers across the state.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Prof. Anthony Eneji, said this in Calabar on Tuesday at an interactive session on the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) Scheme, organised for agro-dealers.
He said that the interactive session became imperative in efforts to garner the support of agro-dealers for the plans of the Ministry of Agriculture to boost agricultural productivity in the state.
Describing agro-dealers as the channel through which farmers could get quality farm inputs, Eneji urged them to work in tandem with the ministry in efforts to provide farm inputs and other technical services for the farmers.
“Farmers in Cross River should be given wholesome service delivery that would enhance their productivity,’’ he said.
The commissioner said that the state government had placed priority on agriculture as the leading industry in the state.
“This is why the government has established support service centres such as the Rice City, rice mills and cocoa processing devices, among other key agricultural projects,’’ he said.
Eneji said that the state government was planning to create a platform where agro-dealers could reach farmers with the farm inputs that were required to boost agricultural production.
The Coordinator of the GES Scheme, Mrs Ada Edu, commended the ministry for creating a forum that would enable agro-dealers to have one-on-one discussions with its officials.
She urged the agro-dealers to show more commitment in distributing farm inputs to farmers, saying that the farmers relied heavily on the inputs provided by agro-dealers to enhance their productivity.
Mr Archibong Efanga, who responded on behalf of the agro-dealers, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the growing dormancy of the GES scheme.
He also bemoaned the inability of agro-dealers to have access to farms inputs for this year’s farming season because of some problems.
Efanga, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to revamp the GES programme and reposition it for the benefit of the country’s farmers.