.Nasarawa

By David Odama, Lafia

Over nine  out of 12 and half   trucks of fertilizers purchased by the state government for distribution to the farmers in Nassarawa has allegedly disappeared from the  ministry of agriculture’s store in Lafia

The Nasarawa State commissioner  of Agriculture,  Nuhu Ibrahim Oshafu  said  Friday, when he appeared before the state house of Assembly committee on Agriculture  for budget defense  that  on assumption of  office,12 and half trucks of Fertilizers were handed over to him but when taking the stock of the products, 9 trucks of fertilizers disappeared  from the store,

According to the Commissioner,  an Accountant and store officer of the ministry  have been  arrested in connection  with the disappearance of the products  adding that  the two staffs have also been  placed on suspension while investigation  is ongoing.

The Commissioner  who  appreciated the Lawmakers  for supporting  the ministry’s activities  told the committee that the state has purchased and distributed 21 trucks of fertilizers  at the sum of N238million in the state,  however pleaded with the assembly to provide for increase agricultural activities in the state.

Meanwhile, the state House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, has  promised to beam it’s light on the activities of the ministry and warmed the State Ministry of Agriculture and other ministries and organs  of government against sharp practices in the sales/ distribution of Fertilizers to farmers across the state.

He  urged the ministry to ensure prudency in the distribution of fertilizers to farmers across the state in order to boost food production

 and enhance transparency in the system for the benefit of farmers.

 Chairman of the house committee on Agriculture,  Ibrahim Peter Akwe, explained that the agricultural sector  was strategic and critical to the growth of the state hence the need for more proactive steps by government to address the  emerging challenges facing the sector.

He said the state government have to declare a state of emergency in the agricutural sector, if the state must get it right adding that  the importance of agriculture to human and societal development could not be overemphasized.

” Agriculture provides food, generate employment and revenue among other benefits hence the need for all hands to be on deck in order to address the challenges facing the sector in the state”, Akwe declared.

The committee chairman while calling on the state government to employ more extension workers in order to boost food production in the state, stating that It was disturbing to hear that one extension worker is attached to 12,000 to 15,000 farmers in the state as well called on the state government to declare a state of emergency in the agricutural sector in order to address the challenges facing the sector in the state.

Also appeared before the committee was the    Manager of Nasarawa Agricutural Development Programme ( NADP),. Emmanuel Allahnana, the Programme

who thanked the committee for the support the agency  has received from the assembly and called for its sustenance.

The programme Management, however, appealed for the employment of more extension workers in the sector to address agricutural challenges and boost food production in the state.

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