By Nicholas Dechi
Makurd – The Benue State Executive Council has approved the supply of assorted fertilisers to supplement locally produced ones in the state for the 2018 cropping season.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr Lawrence Onoja disclosed this in Makurdi while briefing newsmen.
He said that state Executive Council has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to select vendors to supply the assorted fertilisers for the state farmers.
Onoja said that the state government would supply the fertilisers to the farmers at the cost of N4000 each for 50kg bag of NPK, Urea, SSP and granulated organic fertiliser.
He said that farmers would also pay N2000 and N3500 each per a litre of liquid organic fertiliser and plant health promoter respectively before redemption.
He further said that the council approved N388.4million for the payment of the subsidy component on fertiliser redeemed by farmers for the 2018 cropping season.
Onoja noted that the council also directed the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resource to source and enter into agreement with potential vendors for the supply of fertilisers.
He said that the council approved the procurement of 50 units of tractors at the cost N13.9 million per tractor, noting that interested farmers will pay 40 per cent of the unit price of the tractor before collection and government will pay 60 per cent subsidy per tractor.
The commissioner explained that the Benue State Government would issue a bank guarantee and make the 60 per cent down payment to the vendors for the supply of the 50 units of the tractors.
He said that the council also declared May 22 as work free day for civil servants in honour of the two Catholic priests and 17 parishioners in Ayar-Mbalom in Gwer Local Government Area, who were murdered on April 23.
The 19 victims will be buried on 22 May .