The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has said that it has equipped smallholder farmers with free agricultural inputs and quality seeds in its bid to boost food production, eradicate poverty and create employment opportunities for the nation’s teeming youths.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Mohammad Abubakar stated this at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Katsina State, where he conducted the distribution of equipment such as one tonne of certified seeds of groundnut, maize; 1,200 litres of different organic growth enhancers, 2000 litres of cypermethrin, 4800 litres of relating, glyphosate; 1,600 litres of landacylothrine, 150 pasta machines, 7 units of corn harvester, 8 units of hammer mill with cyclone, 700 units of knapsack sprayer, 120 units of water pump among others to smallholders in the state.
Abubakar, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Tree and Crops Division, Mr Bernard Ukattah, revealed that 35 per cent of the inputs were targeted at women farmers and processors in line with the targets set in the national gender plan and policies aimed at ensuring increased opportunities for women.
In his remarks, the Chairman, House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, Hon. Muntari Dandutse said that the federal government’s effort is directed toward ensuring that farm inputs reached the majority of the farming communities across the state.
Dandutse said that this would go a long way in making the agro commodities available and affordable as well as ensure that the goal of bumper production and self-sustenance is realised.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Katsina State Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Sule Salisu, said that the present administration has initiated and implemented various interventions in the agricultural sector, which no other administration has ever done and has transformed the Nigerian agriculture to a business venture.
In his goodwill message, the Chairman, Katsina State Chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Mr Yau Umar Gojogojo, commended the minister for his commitment and support for smallholder farmers across the state.