3 April 2012

Nigeria: Farmers Laments Govt. Failure to Distribute Fertiliser to Them

Dry-season farmers in Kaduna on Monday decried the state government's failure to distribute fertiliser to them for irrigation farming.

Some of the farmers told out correspondent that the action did not augur well for the state government's effort to ensure food security.

Aliyu Muhammad, one of the farmers, said the difficulties in getting the commodity had affected the yield of most dry-season crops.

Muhammad said the situation had also forced many farmers to abandon dry-season farming.

Another dry-season farmer, Barau Halidu, said the commodity was beyond the reach of farmers in the market.

"Government gives us fertiliser at the rate of N2,800 but marketers sell it at N6,200 in the market."

He appealed to the government to distribute fertiliser to the farmers because dry-season farming "provides food and employment for the rural populace".

Abdu Bature, another farmer, appealed to the state government to borrow a leaf from the neighbouring states of Zamfara and Katsina that had provided the commodity for their farmers.

Meanwhile, the Director, Fadama Development in the Kaduna State Agricultural Programme (KADP), Malam Abdullahi Ibrahim, said the state government was not lagging behind in promoting irrigation farming.

Ibrahim said the state government had been distributing inputs and other materials to farmers at subsidised rates.

He said the KADP had started distributing hand pumps and sprayers to farmers to promote irrigation farming.

"Our extension workers are also in the field to train and advise farmers on modern methods of farming."

Ibrahim said that failure to distribute fertiliser was not enough to conclude that the state government was not doing much for the development of agriculture.

He said the government had already distributed improved maize seeds to dry-season farmers.

He gave the assurance that assorted fertilisers would be distributed to farmers before the commencement of rainy season. NAN

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