By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has flagged of the sales of 930 metric tons of fertilizers for this year’s cropping season.
Engineer Sule flagged off the sales at a ceremony at the Government House, on Tuesday.
The Governor equally flagged off the free distribution of 990 metric tons of ruminant feed supplements, as well as 80 metric tons of mineral salt, provided by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, to livestock farmers and pastoralists across the state.
This is the first time fertilizer sales to farmers is commencing before the cropping season in the state.
While noting that his administration is determined to ensure that agricultural potentials of the state are fully harnessed for the overall benefit of the people, Engineer Sule pointed out until such agricultural potentials, the state may not be able to generate the desired employment, as well as create wealth.
Recent statistics indicate that 80 percent of the population in Nasarawa State engage in one farming activity or the other, with agriculture a major employer of labour and most viable vehicle for ensuring food security.
“This is why we remained resolute in our commitment to ensure that the current economic meltdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic and its attendant effects on the economy does not affect the prospects of the agricultural sector which is the mainstay of the economy of Nasarawa State,” he stated.
Engineer Sule disclosed further that the support from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was aimed at mitigating farmer/herder conflicts towards ensuring sustainable development.
The Governor recalled that only recently, the state entered into an agreement with the Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority to access 500 hectares of land in Doma Local Government Area, for production of rice, provision of employment opportunity and cushion post-COVID-19 hardship.
Engineer Sule however categorically warned against diversion and racketeering in the distribution of the fertilizers, stressing that those handling the fertilizer sales will be held responsible for any anomaly in the distribution of the commodity.
He equally cautioned individuals and groups against purchasing the commodity and selling to farmers at exorbitant rates.
The 930 metric tons of the fertilizer consists of 18, 600 bags of NPK 20:10:10, is to be sold at a government regulated price of N5000 per bag.