Some farmers in Gombe have decried the late distribution of subsidised fertilisers and other inputs by the government for the 2019 wet season farming in the state.
The farmers in Gombe on Friday said the late distribution would affect productivity in the current farming season.
They said that the delay could also affect their yields because fertiliser was not applied at the right time.
Nafada Suleiman, a maize farmer said the delay had become a yearly occurrence as a result of series of obstacles farmers faced before accessing supply.
He said that the delay was discouraging a lot of farmers from continuing with farming.
Yusuf Andrew, a rice farmer said that in spite of onset of the rainy season, fertilisers for early planting came late, “which will definitely affect yield”.
He appealed to government to urgently bridge the gap of agriculture inputs shortage.
“Now in some parts of the state, we have started witnessing downpour, yet we are yet to receive fertilisers to support farmers who may not have enough money to buy.
“Farming is becoming too expensive due to land degradation and without adequate fertiliser application such as pesticides and agrochemicals, which are very expensive, and farmers alone can’t cope with these expenses,” he said.
Andrew advocated for a total review of the mode of fertiliser distribution in the state to improve the agriculture productivity.
“This has become imperative because agricultural activities are the predominant occupation in the area with about 80 per cent of the people in the area into commercial and peasant farming.”
Hajiyah Zainab Mohammed, a cotton farmer stressed the need for early distribution of farm inputs for sustainability and to encouraged more youths into agriculture.
Mohammed lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria/Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (CBN/ABP) for organised and timely distribution of farm inputs to cotton farmers from seven local government areas “where cotton is grown in commercial quantities”.
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State had on Monday constituted a nine-member task force on fertiliser distribution to be chaired by Maina Binus, the Programme Manager, Gombe State Agricultural Development Programme.
Binus, when approached by our correspondent declined comments on the issue.
However, a top source in the ministry of agriculture confirmed that the ministry had started receiving fertilisers purchased by the present administration.
The source also revealed that the fertilisers sales and distribution would be flagged off for to farmers within two weeks.
“The governor is passionate about agriculture and he is treating issues on agriculture with all seriousness.”