By Nicholas Dechi
Makurdi – The Special Adviser to Gov. Samuel Ortom on Information and Orientation, Mr James Uloko, has called on Benue farmers to embrace mechanised farming.
Uloko made the call on Tuesday in Makurdi during the distribution of maize and other farm inputs to 1,738 farmers organised by Maize Association of Nigeria (MAAN) in conjunction with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The governor’s aide pointed out that mechanised farming would benefit them more because it would ensure large scale cultivation and boost farmers’ income.
“The State Government is also working hard to enable farmers embrace mechanised farming.
“Few months ago, it distributed 60 tractors to farmers. They were distributed to the various Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the state.
He said that the governor wanted the farmers to jettison subsistence farming and embrace commercial agriculture, stressing that mechanised farming was the best way to go.
Meanwhile, the National Treasuer, MAAN, Mr Joel Batur, said that the farmers would be given 20kg of maize, fertiliser and other farm inputs.
Batur encouraged them to make judicious use of the items in order to have bountiful harvest.
“The inputs are going to be given to only registered members of our association.
“I urge you to pay back the loans you have collected. They are not grants. The loans were given at the interest rate of 5 per cent,” he said.
Earlier, the State Chairman, MAAN, Mr Terkaa Atese, advised the farmers to make optimum use of the inputs, emphasizing that the inputs collected were to be paid back at the end of the cropping season.
Atese appealed to the governor to provide the association with land in each LGA of the state in order to cluster farmers for better cultivation.
Also, the representative of the CBN Branch Controller, Mrs Grace Jonah, said that the inputs were loans and not grants, stressing that they would be given to only farmers that they captured their biometrics.