Government to distribute farm input for dry season farming
Ban export of Nigeria’s grain, Tambuwal tells FG
In an effort to boost food production in the country, the Federal Government disclosed that it has concluded plans to roll out the Growth Enhancement Support scheme (GES) for the dry season farming.
This comes amid controversy trailing the non-settlement of outstanding claims of agro-dealers and input suppliers, which resulted to financial institutions refusal to provide loans to agro-dealers and input suppliers.
Meanwhile, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State has urged the Federal Government to immediately stop the export of food items to neighbouring countries, especially through the land border.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development however, assured that it was working with the Ministry of Finance to provide funds for the settlement of the debt, maintaining that in no distant time the money would be paid.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Shehu Hamed, during the GES preparatory meeting for stakeholders recently in Abuja, said the programme would be implemented in all the 36 states of the federation and farmers would be provided with seeds, fertilizer, and agro-chemicals at 50 percent subsidy rate.
He said the target is to reach 1.5million farmers under the rice, maize, wheat, and groundnut scheme, adding that their input packages would be made available to them at redemption centres
He disclosed that the Federal Government would implement the GES alone without the involvement of the state governments so as to reduce the influence of state officials on the redemption claims to be obtained and the late payment to agro-dealers and input suppliers.
Speaking in Isa LGA of the state at the flag off of the 2017 dry season wheat farming, Tambuwal also called on the FG to come up with emergency plans to purchase excess grains from the farmers so as to boost grains reservoir in all parts of the country.
He also raised the alarm over the massive exportation of grains from Nigeria, saying it portends great dangers to Nigeria’s future food security.
“I keep wondering why we have to ban import of food, especially rice, from the land border but allow massive export of our food commodity to neighbouring countries.
“Considering our population, we must take measures that will enhance food security in our country,” the Governor said.