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Farmers Worry Over Lack of Access to Fertilizer

| May 28, 2013 More

Abuja/Bauchi/Minna/Makurdi/Sokoto/Kano โ€” It may appear that Nigeria’s government may never overcome its usual habit of paying lip service to food security even as farmers are still reeling from the impact of floods from last year’s rains.

Now that the rains have begun in earnest, farmers across the states said the government is yet to give them fertilizer.

They said the absence of fertilizer at this point in time could result in poor yields to add to the poor yields due to last year’s flood which washed away as many farms lands.

Access to fertilizer at the time of its need and at the appropriate quantity is annual headaches Nigeria’s subsistence farmers who feed the nation contend with.

A woman farmer in the Federal Capital Territory (FC T) Mrs. Moribe said the FCT is yet to give them fertilizer this year.

She said this, coupled with the financial challenges majority of farmers had to contend with could have a negative impact on crop yields. She said whe. the commodity eventually comes, it is hoarded, made expensive and taken into thye black market, hence they may not be able to buy it in the open market at high price.

Bauchi e-wallet

Farmers in Bauchi State said they are yet to receive fertilizer for this year’s farming season and may buy at exorbitant price in the black market.

Bauchi State Ministry of Agriculture Information officer, Alhaji Abdullahi Saleh said the state government is ready to begin the distribution of the commodity.

“We are about to return the completed forms of the e-wallet system to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to get the commodity and the state is also making effort to make a direct purchase in order to help the large scale farmers get the commodity.”

In Benue State, the story is the same as farmers say the state has not yet flagged off fertilizer sales.

The delay has become a source of concern for farmers in the state who look up to the government for their yearly purchase at an affordable cost.

A farmer, Vincent Tanor expressed worry that his tuber crops – yam and cassava would likely experience low yield this year following his inability to get fertilizer at the proper time when the rains have already started in earnest.

Tanor who cultivates a minimum of five hectares of land at his Gboko home town is the Chairman of the Farmers’ union and foremost leader of fruits commodity union in Gboko,

He said “the people were beginning to ask too many questions, so I decided to come to Makurdi to unravel the delay in accessing fertilizer for this year’s planting season.”

State Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Aondona Hembe expressed fears that if fertilizers are not released to farmers before the end of the month, it would seriously have a negative impact on the yields this year.

Dr. Simon Penda of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi emphasized on the negative implication of the delay in distributing the product to the end users, saying lower yield would be inevitable at the end of the season.

“Agriculture is time bound. The non application of fertilizer input at the right time would result to lower yield and affect farmers’ income,” he said.

In Niger State, farmers have gone far, but were yet to fertilizer from the government.

A local farmer in Kontagora, Malam Usman Aliyu said all farmers in his area are confused year as they don’t know what would happen regarding fertilizer distribution.

He said as peasant farmers they could not afford to buy the fertilizer at market price with a bag being sold between N5,000 and N5,500 and would continue to rise as the season progresses.

He lamented that their hope of having a bumper harvest this year was about to be dashed irrespective of how good the rains are since farmers were not able to get the fertilizer at the right time.

He said this would also affect their livelihood since most farmers of his type depend largely on the amount they would realize after selling the little produced they were able to store for the purpose of purchasing fertilizer for the current farming season.

The situation is so bad for Aliyu that he resorted to buying in small measure that costs between N200 and N300, which he said is never enough and can hardly produce much.

It will not be possible for them to buy fertilizer at market price, because they harvested little produce last year, because they lost most of their crops to floods and there is nothing to fall back on now, he said.

A commercial farmer in Minna, Bala Adamu Kuta said despite the noise by the government on the adequate arrangement for the distribution of fertilizer for this farming season, farmers were yet to receive even a single bag of the commodity from the government.

In Sokoto State, farmers also say they are yet to get fertilizer from the state government.

Secretary, All farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in the state, Kabiru Aliyu confirmed that the farmers have not received fertilizer from the state government.

The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Arzika Tureta, however, said the farmers in the state will start getting all these incentives this week.

He told Weekly Trust that the government was going to buy about 100 metric tons so that all farmers would benefit.

Most farmers in Kano told Weekly Trust that they were yet to receive fertilizer for the season, as the government has not started the distribution.

Hajiya Fatima Muhammad Shariff , Chairperson Kano State Women Farmers Association said none of the farmers has received fertilizer from government.

She further expressed dismay over what she described as dominance of men in everything, as some women couldn’t get the form to fill as well as the delay in distribution.

Another farmer Musa Yakubu told Weekly Trust that they have not received the fertilizer yet, but they are praying to get the product soon.

“The earlier one starts, the good harvests he gets,” Yakubu said.

Category: Bauchi State News

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