By Ali Alkali
The Zamfara State government is set to start distribution of 50,000 metric tones of assorted fertilizer to the state farmers at the commencement of this year’s raining season.
This is revealed Tuesday afternoon, by Abdussalam Kwatarkwashi, Managing Director of Farmers Agricultural Supply Company (FASCO) when he received a visiting team of Journalists lead by the President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, Alhaji Abdulwaheed Odusile, who were at the state to inspect projects executed by the administration of Governor Abdul’aziz Yari.
According to Kwatarkwashi, who conducted the team round the main storage facility of the agency, already 80 percent of the fertilizer had been procured and in various warehouses in the state.
He noted that the administration of Governor Abdul’aziz Yari, in its determination to boost agriculture by supplying the best fertilizer and seedlings to its farmers, doesn’t just buy any kind od fertilizer in the market. “The fertilizers we have in our storage facilities have went through various laboratory tests at the faculty of agriculture of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. We are satisfied that the fertilizer we will distribute to our farmers is the best in the market and most suitable for our soil and crop varieties. We are now waiting for the commencement of rainy season to start distribution.”
On the price at which the fertilizer will be given to farmers, the FASCO MD said that would be determined by the state executive council later before commencement of distribution; assuring, however, that the price will be the cheapest in the country. “The state government’s main aim is to, every year, provide the best fertilizer at highly subsidised rate.”
Right from inception of Yari administration, agriculture had been enjoying priority considerations.
Within the last seven years, the administration had spent about 13billion naira for the procurement of over 150,000 metric tones of assorted fertilizers which were sold to farmers through their local governments and wards at highly subsidised rate.
Peoples Daily gathered that the administration made it a policy to sell every bag of fertilizer to farmers at a price that should never exceed one thousand naira. “This is a subsidy never enjoyed by any farming community anywhere on the African continent,” said Ibrahim Dosara, Special Adviser to the governor on Media, Public Enlightenment and Publications.
“In addition to that the administration reintroduced the program of buying off the surplus of cash and food crops from the farmers and storing them in its silos for re-sale to people in times of high demand at give away price,” Dosara said.
The scheme is aimed at reorganizing the farmers across the state, providing them with adequate farm-inputs such as fertilizers, improved seedlings, insecticides, access to bank loans and other agricultural facilities as well as modern farming technologies.
According to Dosara, “These strategies adopted by the Yari Administration in Zamfara State have gone a long way in ensuring food security in the state and complementing the nation’s food self a sufficiency drive.”