From Sule Aliyu, Gombe
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has flagged off sales and distribution of fertilizers for 2022 farming season at Dukul in Kwami Local Government Area of Gombe State.
Speaking during the ceremony, the governor said that distribution of subsidised fertilizers was part of his campaign promises aimed at boosting agriculture, ensuring food security, providing employment and broadening the revenue base of the state.
Governor Yahaya said about 7,500 tonnes of fertilizers have already been procured for onward distribution to local farmers at the grassroots.
Speaking on the pattern of the distribution, the governor said: “In line with our normal practice, fertilizer will be supplied directly to the local government areas for onward sale and distribution through the polling units so as to reach the grassroots.”
To ensure the commodity reaches its intended beneficiaries, the governor directed the Ministry of Agriculture and all relevant security agencies to ensure strict compliance with the guidelines of sale and distribution exercise.
Announcing the price for the fertilizers, Governor Yahaya said: “NPK 15:15:15 will be sold at N19, 000 as against about N25, 000 in the markets and NPK 20:10:10 be sold at N15, 000 per bag instead of about N20, 000 market price.”
He appealed to the farmers to cooperate with those assigned with the responsibilities of sales and distribution across the state for the success of the exercise.
He also cautioned them against diversion or any form of mismanagement, adding that the law would take its course on anybody found wanting.
Governor Yahaya attributed the delay in this season’s sales and distribution of the commodity to security issues and other technical challenges in the production, procurement and distribution processes associated with the exercise.
The governor confirmed that: “despite these challenges however, through the doggedness and perseverance of our Ministry of Agriculture, we have been able to overcome these challenges and record a remarkable success.”
He maintained that the state is largely an agrarian with over 80 per cent of its population engaged in agriculture.
“Supporting this sector is therefore crucial to economic development, food security and sustainable livelihood for our people,” the governor noted.
He appreciated the efforts of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting agricultural activities in the state, citing the dry season wheat farming undertaken in collaboration with National Agricultural Land Development Agency (NALDA) and establishment of farming centers in collaboration with North East Development Commission (NEDC) as good instances.
He explained that his government has engaged in various projects and programmes to revamp agriculture in the state with it keying into many agricultural initiatives at both itself, regional and national levels to boost productivity.
“We are a key stakeholder in the National Livestock Transformation Program with the Wawa-Zange Grazing Reserve as a model project.
“We are tapping into the great irrigation potentials of our three major dams of Dadin Kowa, Cham and Balanga in order to promote large-scale irrigation activities.
“Our farm service centers are being revived to serve as one-stop shops of agricultural services and we allocated about 250 hectares out of the 1,000 hectares earmarked for the Gombe Industrial Park for the purpose of developing an agricultural industrial cluster in order to provide room for enhancement of the agriculture value chain through the processing of agricultural commodities that are highly abound.
“These, together with many donor-driven and private sector-led initiatives are turning Gombe’s agricultural sector around by diversifying our economy, improving productivity, enhancing revenue generation, creating jobs and promoting food security.
“We will continue to give our maximum support for the overall progress and development of the sector,” he stated.
He used the occasion to urge farmers and herders to live in harmony with one another and avoid infringing on others’ properties and rights for peace to reign in the state and the nation.
The governor pledged continued support to agricultural sector, saying: “We will continue to give our maximum support for the progress and development of this sector considering the role it plays in the overall socio-economic development.”
He also unveiled his government’s plan to establish more agricultural centres in the state.
He said: “It is our intention to provide a farm centre in each and every ward of Gombe State; altogether, we intend to have 114 functional and operational farm service centres across the state.”
Speaking at the occasion, Director at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Musa Inuwa extolled Governor Yahaya’s efforts to overhaul agricultural sector in the state thereby making it more productive.
He commended the governor for his leadership style which he said made the state to stand tall among its peers.
“It is through His Excellency’s perseverance, exemplary leadership and resilience that today Gombe is among the states that are earmarked to benefit from the 500 million US dollars World Bank Funded livestock Productivity, Resilience Enhancement Support (LPRES) Project,” said him.
He also praised the cordial working relationship between the ministry and the state government.
He said such relationship had positively impacted on the development of agriculture in the state.
Earlier speaking, the state Commissioner of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Hon. Muhammad Magaji Gettado, thanked Governor Yahaya for giving agricultural sector the attention it deserves.
He explained that since the inception of the present administration in the state, the governor has been consistent in providing all the needed funds and necessary support for agricultural development.
The commissioner cited large scale dry season wheat farming, mass animal vaccination, establishment/preservation of grazing reserves, prevention and settlement of farmer-herder conflicts among others as some of the important areas the state is excelling under the governor.
He said the state was at the forefront in subscribing to the national agricultural interventions, the development he attributed to Governor Yahaya’s commitment in providing the counterpart funding and other necessary support.
“Gombe State is at the top of the list of beneficiaries of federal government agricultural projects and is doing very well in that regard”, he said as contained in a statement by Alhaji Ismaila Uba Misilli, Director-General, Press Affairs, Government House, Gombe.