The Yobe State government is set to commence with the distribution of fertilizer and farm inputs to 33,000 small- scale rural and urban farmers across the state for this year’s planting season.
Commissioner for Agriculture Hajiya Mairo Amshi shared this in Damaturu during the distribution of farming implements to 100 farmers, who were among the 450 farmers in the state targeted for assistance by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in collaboration with the American University of Nigeria (AUN).
UNHCR is a global organization committed to protecting the rights and lives of refugees and providing a better future for forcibly displaced people and communities.
Alhaji Usman Sani Chiromari, a representative of the AUN, said that the project mainly serves vulnerable internally displaced persons, returnees and members of the host communities affected by the insurgency.
The commissioner explained that the inability of Gov. Mai Mala Buni led administration to commence with distribution earlier was a result of the ministry’s effort to eliminate middlemen in the distribution channel, which was achieved through the proper identification of real farmers with the help of traditional and community leaders.
Amshi further noted that civil servants who are also farmers in the state will benefit from the fertilizer, as the state government has correspondingly captured them as farmers. He went on to advise beneficiaries not to sell the products, but to put them to proper use.
“We did this in two categories, the small farmers and the civil servants to know their farm location using a geo-enabling system and we discovered that most civil servants are into farming.
“Some have over 100 hectares of farm lands. So you can see that it will be injustice for such farmers not to benefit because they are civil servants. For us, we treat every farmer as a farmer period. Some are into crop farming, livestock, forestry etc,” Amshi disclosed.