By Hauwa Gold
The Sokoto State Government has approved N1.65 billion for the purchase of 15,000 metric tonnes of fertilizers to be sold to farmers in the state this farming season.
The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Umaru Tambuwal, made the disclosure at a news conference on Monday in Sokoto.
He said the fertilizer was procured under the Federal Government’s arrangement where the commodity would be sold to farmers in states during the farming season.
Tambuwal said that the State Government had since paid its counterpart funding of N91 million for the reconstruction of the Kware Irrigation Scheme in the state.
The commissioner announced that the state had similarly, paid its counterpart funding of N1.2 billion to the Nigeria Erosion Watershed Management Project for rehabilitation of the Wurno Dam.
He said that seeds of carrot, watermelon, onion, pepper, garlic, cabbage and other items had been procured by the state at a cost of N11 million and distributed free to farmers.
The commissioner said that the State Government was collaborating with Zenith Bank to finance a N3 billion commercial agriculture credit scheme for farmers.
Tambuwal said that the government had procured 15,000 litres of pesticides at a cost of N45 million for the control of pests while N73 million was spent last year for aerial control of Queale birds.
“The State Government also procured five Hilux vans and 37 motorcycles for value-chain projects supervision at a cost of N80 million.
According to him, N92 million has been approved for off-takers of wheat during the 2016/2017 farming season to ease the difficulties of wheat farmers.
He said that N58 million had been released to conduct farmers’ census for the establishment of the Sokoto State Agricultural Database.