Yobe State government is set to distribute fertilizer inputs to over 33,000 small scale farmers in the state.
Commissioner for Agriculture in the State, Dr. Hajiya Mairo Amshi disclosed this at the distribution of farm inputs to 100 farmers who are part of 450 targeted farmers in the state by UNHCR in partnership with American University of Nigeria(AUN).
Dr. Amshi added that the delay in the commencement of the distribution was caused as a result of the ministry’s efforts to eliminate middlemen in the distribution channel by identifying genuine farmers with the help of traditional rulers.
“The state government will begin the distribution of fertilizers to farmers by next week Isha Allah. I cannot give you the number of tones now because it’s too much or too little to say.
“One of the reasons for the delay in the distribution of our fertilizer is because we have to get out trusted farmers. We have already gotten 33,000 small scale registered farmers so far. They are registered and we know their locations, their phone nos. We have screened them to be sure they are real farmers. We are trying to eliminate middle men in the distribution of our fertilizer. That is why we are working with traditional rulers to achieve that goal,” Dr. Amshi said.
She added that civil servants who are also farmers in the state will benefit from the fertilizer as the state government has also captured them as farmers.
“We did this in two categories, the small farmers and the civil servants to know their farm location using a geo-enabling system and we discovered that most civil servants are into farming. Some have over 100 hectares of farm lands. So you can see that it will be injustice for such farmers not to benefit because they are civil servants. For us, we treat every farmer as a farmers period. Some are into crop farming, livestock, forestry etc,” she disclosed.
The commissioner advised the beneficiaries not to sell the products but to put them into proper use.
In his remark, the representative of AUN, Usman Sani Chiromari said “the major objective of UNHCR is to ensure social and economic rights are secured and opportunities for self-reliance maximised”.
He added that, “this project is promoting livelihoods and self-reliance through skill acquisitions and empowerment with startups to prevent households and individuals from slipping into poverty and enable them support their communities”.
The target of the project, Chiromari noted is for “vulnerable IDPs, Returnees and members of the host communities affected by the insurgency”.
He disclosed that a total of 450 beneficiaries across the state will benefit from the program, while 50 of a batch of hundred were selected for the event due to NCDC guidelines on COVID 19.