Gov. Lalong launches sale of 20,000 tonnes of fertilisers to farmers in Plateau
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau on Tuesday in Mikang launched the sale of 20,000 tonnes of fertilisers to farmers at a subsidised rate.
Speaking at the event, Lalong said that the fertilisers, which had a 50-per-cent subsidy, would be sold to farmers at N5, 500 per 50kg. bag.
The governor acknowledged the challenges which farmers encountered last year in efforts to acquire the essential input.
He stressed that government had devised better means of facilitating the access of smallholder farmers to the product.
Lalong said that a special fertiliser intervention scheme, where each state of the federation was expected to blend a specified quantity of assorted fertilisers for its people, was now in place.
“Plateau has received approval to blend 20,000 tonnes for distribution this farming season, using farmers’ database generated by Bank of Agriculture and accessed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as using the Bank Verification Number (BVN) of each registered farmer.
“You will recall that the state registration captured about 110,000 farmers but with the CBN, only 87,000 farmers fulfilled the registration requirement through the BVN.
“The exercise has helped in isolating the likelihood of fictitious and multiple registrations, so that legitimate farmers will have access to the fertilisers.
“I have been briefed that following this procedure, 57,000 farmers in Plateau have already received text messages on where and how to receive their fertilisers after payment,’’ he said.
The governor reassured the farmers that his administration would strive to develop the agricultural sector and the economy as a whole.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs Lynda Barau, said that under the new fertiliser distribution method, farmers would able to procure the commodity through the Point of Sale (POS) “smart collect’’ arrangement.
Mr Ezekiel Pabuet, Chairman, Mikang Local Government Council, said that the early commencement of fertiliser sales signified the determination of the Lalong-administration to diversify the state’s economy via agriculture.
He commended the state government for starting fertiliser sales in good time before the onset of the rainy season.