Sokoto state government said it will spend the sum of N1.4 billion to subsidise the price of fertilizer for its farmers in the 2018 cropping season.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal stated this in Sabon Birni LGA at the flag-off of fertilizer sales for dry season farming and distribution of improved seeds to farmers across the state.
“We have bought 500,000 bags of fertilizer at the cost of N6,800 per 50kg bag but we have decided to sell the product to our farmers at the subsidized cost of N4,000 per bag. In all, we are spending the sum of N1.4 billion to subsidise the product.
“This intervention becomes necessary in view of our determination to boost agriculture in the state and to encourage new entrants into the sector.
“We will continuously explore other avenues to grow the agric sector bearing in mind that it is the largest employer of labour for majority of our citizens,” the Governor added.
In all, Tambuwal said the government will buy 25,000 metric tons of fertilizer at the cost of N3.4 billion for the dry season farming alone in the state.
According to him, the state government will construct 1000 tube wells to assist dry season farmers as a result of shortage of water being experienced at the Goronyo Dam.
On seeds, the Governor said the ministry of agriculture has procured faro-brand rice seedlings at the cost of N281 million to be distributed to dry season farmers free of charge, while another N9.5 million worth of seedlings for carrot, onion, water melon and garlic have been bought for the farmers to assist in improving their yields.
“This in addition to payment of N20 million counterpart funding to the State Agricultural Development Project (SADP) for the provision of Tube wells to farmers and motorcycles to monitoring officers in 2017.
“The government has paid the sum of N40 million as counterpart funding to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and N56 Million for the World Bank funded-Fadama III project which are all aimed at improving farming activities in the state,” he added.
In his remark, the state commissioner of agriculture, Umar Nagwari, said the ministry achieved 80 percent of its set target in 2017, and vowed to do more for the benefit of farmers.