FG flags-off distribution of rice, cashew other seedlings to farmers

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By:Oluwatosin Iyun

The Federal Government (FG) has flagged off the distribution of free 15 metric tonne of rice seedlings, 2.5 MT groundnut foundation seeds, 1,000 KG of Castor seeds, 1,500 KG of cashew nut and other agricultural inputs and seedlings to smallholder farmers in Gombe State.

It said the move is aimed at mitigating the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and impact of flooding that wrecked havoc on farmlands.

While flagging off the distribution to farmers at the Ministry’s office complex Gombe state, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Baba Shehuri said this was done under the World Bank’s Assisted Nutrition Programme.

He listed the interventions to include subsidized inputs with over 350 3HP and 30 7HP irrigation pumps, multipurpose threshers, over 70 Motorized and dual powered sprayers amongst others.

According to him, this will ensure food security, create more jobs for teaming Nigerian youths and boost dry-season farming.

Also given to the farmers were Ratkin and Liptol – organic insecticides to combat army worms infestation, water pumps, maize threshers among others.

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The Minister further noted that similar exercises were performed in Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Oyo, Cross River and Imo states, witi Gombe being the 8th edition.

“…assisting smallholder farmers with quality inputs will ensure sustainable food security, job creation and revenue generation to grow the nation’s economy.

“In our input distribution efforts, at least 35% of these inputs are targeted at the women farmers, this is in line with the targets set in our national gender action plan and policies aimed at ensuring increased opportunities for women,”he stated.

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Similarly, he said the Ministry would support breeder and foundation seed production and link up with the private seed companies to ensure that certified seeds are available to local farmers nationwide.

To this end, Shehuri tasked the beneficiaries on making judicious use of these inputs to produce food for the nation while calling on other stakeholders to provide similar support to farmers.

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