By Fortune Abang
The Chairman of Bwari Area Council, FCT, Mr Musa Dikko on Monday distributed 60 tonnes of fertilisers and other farm implements to farmers at subsidised price to encourage farming.
Dikko made this known while briefing newsmen at the official launch of the distribution of fertilisers and other farming items to farmers in Bwari in the FCT.
He said that seedlings such as maize and rice would be subsidised against the cost price for farmers in the community to promote farming practice.
He said that the N10 million used to purchase the items was derived from funds that was recovered from the past leadership administration of the area council.
“At this point in time, my administration has no choice than to subsidise, we want to reorganise farmers and reawaken them because agriculture is key to our economy.
“We must subsidise these items to encourage them, it is our target to see ensure people embrace farming by going back to agriculture for sustainable development of Nigeria.
“We have been able to sustain this, last year was our first and of cause we have done it again this year, part of funds recovered from the past has helped us to realise this goal.
“We will ensure every farmer benefits from the distribution of these products because we have brought the price down to the lowest level you can get in the market.
“Bag of fertiliser that costs N7, 000 will be sold at N1, 400; a Knapsack Sprayer sold which costs N7, 500 will be sold at N1, 500 each.
“A 50kg of rice will be sold at N200, while 50kg of maize will be sold at N300, we are sure this amounts will not be expensive for farmers in the community.’’
He further promised to establish a committee made up of District Heads, community leaders and ward councilors to ensure equitable sales of the items.
He said that an official reports would be expected from the committee at the end of every sale to ensure accountability.
Dr Godwin Abah, the Head of Agriculture Department in the council secretariat, decried paucity of fund to be a major challenge hindering fertiliser distribution in the community.
“This edition of fertiliser distribution is a deviation from the past. Last year’s transportation of the item to the various wards was difficult amidst lack of funds.
“We experienced delay in the previous distribution because it was supervised by community leaders.
“This year, there are 60 metric tonnes of fertilisers that is about 1,200 bags, we have 115 sprayers; we have 200kg improved seeds of rice and maize is 400kg for distribution to farmers.”
In separate interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Abdulmuminu Dabbah, a farmer thanked the area council for supporting them.
He promised to use the items judiciously to improve his crop production in order to maximise profit throughout the farming season.
“I will apply the fertiliser to my crops to be able to achieve high yield in my rice production this season.”
The items distributed include NPK AND urea fertilisers, sprayers, bags of rice and maize.