By Sunday Iduh
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has announced a 50 per cent reduction in the price of fertiliser to enable Benue farmers enjoy bountiful harvest.
He disclosed this during the official flag-off of fertilizer sales and distribution to Benue farmers for the 2021 cropping season on Thursday at Industrial Lay-out, Makurdi.
According to the Governor, a 50kg bag of NPK brand will be sold at N5,000 while a 50kg brand of Urea will be sold at the rate of N6,000.
“Market prices of these two brands are 9,000 and 12,000 thousand naira respectfully. Government is paying a subsidy of N4,000 and N6000 on each bag of the commodity.
“A litre of organic fertiliser is to be sold to farmers at 2,000 naira while a litre of plant health promoter is to be sold at N3,500. The market price of the plant health promoter is N8,700,” he said.
He called on farmers to make the most use of the fertiliser to ensure good yield as government will deal decisively with anyone caught short-changing them.
The governor urged all farmers to utilise government support in agriculture and make everywhere in the state green, in order to boost food production.
Governor Ortom who appreciated the Federal Government for the step taken to mitigate the impacts of the 2017 flood on Benue farmers, however, called for a decisive step to be taken in order to ensure the return of over one million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in various camps in the state. This, he said can be done by ending the herdsmen attack on the people of the state.
Speaking, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Timothy Ijir stated that the distribution is one event that farmers look forward to every year. According to him, Governor Ortom has never disappointed in this regard.
Dr Ijir said the direct model has reduced racketeering in the distribution process and appealed for the support of farmers, marketers, the media, security agencies among others to ensure that the product reach farmers.
Also speaking, Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Titus Uba commended the governor for his consistency in the provision of fertiliser for Benue farmers every year. According to the speaker, the timely provision of fertilisers to the farmers will boost this year’s yields
On his part, Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Terwase Aondoakaa stated that the sale of fertilisers will impact positively on the lives of farmers in the rural areas. He expressed confidence in the distribution process
“I am very confident that with the supervision of the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, the fertilisers will get to the door steps our farmers.