Farmers to get four million fertilizers before end of year, says Presidency
• FG assures on release of funds for ecological challenges
The Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) has pledged to deliver four million bags of 50kg Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK) fertilizers to farmers, at affordable prices before the end of the year.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu disclosed this at the weekend on Hannu Da Dawa while speaking on Federal Radio Corporation of Nigerian (FRCN) Kaduna.
He said the 11 fertilizer blending plants in the country would be increased to 18 by the end of the year, which will in turn provide employment to about 50,000 Nigerians.
Shehu pointed out that the projected delivery of the four million bags of fertilizers by December is in addition to the six million bags already sold to farmers since the initiative commenced this year.
“The shortage of fertilizers and its attendant high cost in the nation’s agricultural production, seemingly intractable for decades, have been resolved following the successful execution of the mandate of the PFI.
“Since the implementation of the initiative, the six million 50kg bags of NPK fertilizers were purchased by state governments and agro-dealers across the country,” he said.
He noted that the production of locally-blended fertilizers had saved the Federal Government about $150 million this year, hitherto spent on foreign exchange and N60 billion in budgetary provisions for fertilizer subsidy.
He added that the successful implementation of the PFI had made fertilizer available to Nigerian farmers at affordable prices and in time for the 2017 rainy season farming.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to the timely release of the Ecological Fund to states to address ecological challenges in their domains.
Speaking at the weekend on Hannu Da Dawa, Shehu said the administration would continue to assist flood victims across the country.
“The Buhari administration will, under no circumstances, abandon its humanitarian obligations to alleviate the plight of flood victims in the country.
“In spite of Nigeria’s technological limitations and the paucity of funds to handle large scale and complex emergencies, government will leave no stones unturned in helping to victims of natural disasters across the country,” he said.
On the Ecological Fund, Shehu, said it was the right of citizens to demand the judicious use of the fund, which, according to him, was distributed among the three tiers of government from the Federation Account.