3 January 2013

Nigeria: AFAN Urges FG, States to Ensure Early Distribution of Agric. Inputs

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Gombe State has urged the Federal and state governments to plan for early supply of agricultural inputs for the 2013 farming season Alhaji Umar Abdullahi, the state Chairman of the association, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Thursday.

He said that the early distribution of the inputs would assist farmers to properly work out what to plat and the quantity to be planted.

"We want all the agricultural inputs to be supplied latest by March 2013 to avoid the late arrival of such inputs like it happened in 2012 farming season which affected most of the farmers.

"Agriculture is a business that has its own time; so if you can get your inputs on time, that will enable you to plan properly than if the inputs come late.

"By getting your inputs ready in the best time, then you can plan how many hectares you will cultivate", he explained.

According to him, most of the farmers cannot get good varieties of seeds in the market compared with those supplied by the governments.

The chairman commended the new subsidy policy known as the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) introduced by the Federal Government He said the policy could be improved upon by early supply of inputs to farmers.

"Apart from that, it needs also to improve because not all the farmers have mobile phones. "If you say you can only give to those who have phones, a lot of farmers will not benefit from the scheme.

"And at the same time, the system also should take care of medium-scale and large-scale farmers. "But in this system, only the small-scale farmers are taken care of", he observed.

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