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Borno farmers lament non-sale, distribution of fertilizers, others in 2022


Borno farmers lament non-sale, distribution of fertilizers, others in 2022

By Njadvara MUSA, Maiduguri

The Borno State farmers have lamented the non-sale distribution of fertilizers and other farm inputs for the 2022 cropping season.

The aggrieved farmers drawn from the south Senatorial District, comprising nine Councils (LGA), said that tradition demands that there should be timely sale and distribution of fertilizers by the State government.

Over N1 billion has been earmarked for the Agricultural sector in the 2022 State’s Appropriation Bill.

Expressing the non-sale and distribution of fertilizers, yesterday (Tuesday) in Biu the senatorial headquarters of the district, Haruna Musa, Chairman of the Farmers and Livestock Association said: “Today, we’ve been disappointed with the non-sale and distribution of fertilizers by the State government this year,” stating that most of the farmers had to rely on their savings to buy fertilizers at N25, 000 a bag.”

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Besides the non-sale of fertilizers, Prof. Abba Gambo, Faculty of Agriculture, Yobe State University (YSU), said; “For farmers’ effective application of fertilizer to crops for higher yields, it should be distributed in either May or June of every year, depending on the location of farmlands in Borno and Yobe states.”

He said that the timely sale and distribution of fertilizers could also guarantee farmers’ productivity with increased incomes to fight both poverty and unemployment.

The farmers also insisted that; “Each year; tradition requires the timely sale and distribution of fertilizers by the 19 State governments in the country,” stating that farmers in the neighbouring State of Yobe are accessing each bag of fertilizers at N13, 000 subsidies.

Continuing, they argued that, since Zulum assumed office in 2019, their hopes of getting fertilizers on time with subsidy have been dashed by misery in procuring farm inputs at a higher price.

“It appears that the State government no longer give priority to the agricultural sector, that provides employment to over 70 per cent of small-holder farmers,” said Yakubu Usman, the Chairman of the Fadama Rice Farmers Association (FRFA) in Hawul/Shani/Bayo farming axis.

Mathew Buba, another aggrieved farmer also lamented that the distributed farm inputs and irrigation machinery by Zulum last January to 500 farmers in the north senatorial district were, however; not extended to farmers in south Borno.

According to him, the south district is peaceful with the highest number of active farmers in the production of various crops with comparative advantages over the north part of the state.

Besides, he added that the climatic and soil conditions are favourable to the production of farm and tree crops for consumption and exports to earn foreign exchange

“It is unfortunate, to hire tractors at an exorbitant rate, denying many of us to harness the rich agricultural and livestock resources,” he said, lamenting that none of the tractors laying waste at the Farm Centre was deployed for the Tractor Hiring Unit (THU) in southern Borno for 2022 cropping season.

He said the State government under the leadership of the former Governor, Sen. Kashim Shettima procured thousands of tractors but were nowhere to be found for farmers.

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