Yobe State Government has commenced the sale of 8,640 tonnes of fertilizer at a subsidized price of N3,000 per bag for the 2018 cropping season to boost agriculture.
Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam, who announced this in Damaturu on Monday, said government spent N1.47 billion on the commodity.
He assured farmers of the commitment of his administration to the development of agriculture as the major employer of labour in the state.
Gaidam said that government would evolve strategies and programes to explore the enormous benefits in agriculture to enhance productivity for sustainable socio-economic development of the state.
He said the state was blessed with over one million hectares of land and 366,000 hectares of irrigation land with 765 kilometers of rivers, tributaries, floodplains and a lake, while, 75 percent of the state’s population were farmers.
“In our continuous drive to facilitate achievement of self-sufficiency in food production and to diversify our economy, this sector will continue to receive priority attention,” he said.
He said that N2 billion had been expended on the development of 500 hectares of irrigation land in four locations across the state.
“Government has developed over 500 hectares of land for irrigation at Boloram, Jakusko, Mugura and Nguru lake.
“Government has expended about N2 billion so far and expected to employ 10,000 youths for food and cash crop production,” Gaidam said.
The governor directed that 3,000 bags of fertilizers should be allocated to each of the 17 local government areas.
He urged the council chairmen to ensure proper remittance of the proceeds into government coffers.
Geidam also charged the beneficiary farmers to make good use of the commodity, saying, “you should avoid the temptation of middlemen to sell the product”.
Alhaji Mustapha Gajerima, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, said that government purchased the 15:15:15 NPK brand of fertilizer because it was the most suitable for recovery of soil fertility across the state.
Gajerima said the strategies being employed by the government in irrigation and livestock development would enhance agricultural production, improve employment and food security.
He said that adequate measures had been taken to check cases of diversion and sale of the product above government-approved price.
“We will ensure that the fertilizer is sold to the targeted farmers in the state to improve farming activities and food security.