BAUCHI – No fewer than 663,595 farmers in Bauchi State had benefited from the Federal Government’s input support programme, under the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme in 2014.
Alhaji Mohammed Yusuf, Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the state, made this disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Bauchi.
Yusuf said that out of the figure, 662,909 farmers benefited under the crop input support, while 290 farmers benefited under livestock and 396 under fisheries.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
He said that under the crop input support, 589,706 farmers benefited under maize and rice production; 39,999 under cotton, 400 under sesame, 18,804 under sorghum and 300 under soya beans value chains.
“These farmers were supported with fertilisers and chemicals at 50 per cent discount, as well as improved seeds free of charge.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
“No fewer than 11,000 farmers also received water pumps at 75 per cent discount and seeds for free under the dry season rice farming initiative,” Yusuf added.
He said that under the livestock value chain, 160 farmers benefited under sheep and goats, 30 under beef and 100 farmers under poultry while 396 others benefited under fisheries value chains.
Yusuf told NAN that the farmers got inputs such as fattening feeds, salt licks, de-wormer, day old chicks, vaccines as well as juvenile fish among others at subsidised rates.
The director explained that the effort was to positively transform the agricultural sector through a paradigm shift from subsistence farming to commercial farming.
Yusuf said that to achieve this, the GES scheme, under the FG’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), was specifically designed to solve farmers’ problem of accessing quality and affordable inputs.
He said since the introduction of the scheme in 2012, government had provided farmers with the needed inputs that guaranteed higher yield, a situation that had hampered farmers’ productivity in the past.
“I assure you that the Federal Government would not relent in its effort in making agricultural activity attractive and lucrative through various interventions particularly in the areas of inputs and marketing,” he said.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
He urged farmers to form organise themselves into associations and cooperative societies through which they can access government’s interventions with ease. (NAN)