From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi
The 2,784,408 farmers have been targeted to benefit from the 2014 wet season Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) fertilizer distribution programmes across Kebbi state.
The state Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Kevin Tekpat has disclosed during the flag-off of the 2014 Wet Season GES programme yesterday, in Ambursa, near Birnin Kebbi.
He said, in 2013, the total number of farmers who benefited from the wet season GES was 173,499 for the generic wing.
The director, who was represented by the state assistant director, Mr. Paul Na’Allah said in the same wet season, a total of 19,080 farmers benefited from the special GES in four Crop Value Chain commodities, that is cassava, soya beans, cotton and sorghum.
“In the same vein, 112,737 farmers benefited from the 2013/2014 dry season paddy production”, he added.
In his address, Governor Sa’iduDakingari, however stated that the figure is less than half of the farmers, considering the vast village listing survey report of 2009, where 525,000 farm families were recorded in the state.
“I have been made to understand that a cumulative figure of 226,056 farmers in the state have been captured in your registration exercise.
“I have equally been made to understand that the data captured exercise will continue ; this, I believe, will give more farmers in Kebbi state the opportunity to also benefit from the GES scheme.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Ibrahim K. Aliyu, said the federal government can count on the support of the government and the people of state in the transformation agenda as has been the case with Kebbi state.
“I have observed that the large scale farmers have been left out in the GES scheme. This category of farmers would also require assistance in order to increase their productivity capacity.
“It is in realization of this that the state launched the scale and distribution of fertilizers to benefit the large scale farmers of Kebbi state just last week and was sold at a subsidized rate of N1,700 per bag for both NPK and Urea,” he added.
He urged farmers to make the best use of this gesture in order to increase their productivity.