Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State flagged off the 2023 farming season in Azare, Katagum Local Government Area of the state, on Tuesday.
Mohammed said his administration has diversified the economic sector of the state to ensure food security.
He assured that the agricultural sector would continue to receive priority
“I want to draw the attention of our farmers to this year’s farming seasonal rainfall prediction (SRP) by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET),” he stated.
NIMET has predicted that for most parts of the country, planting season would start towards the end of May 2023.
It warned that there may be flooding in some parts of the country.
The governor urged farmers to make good use of the NIMET prediction and avoid planting in areas that are prone to flooding.
Governor Mohammed lamented the influx of armyworms was recorded in some parts of the state at the beginning of last year’s farming season.
He said the development resulted in the destruction of crops on many farms.
The governor said concerted efforts have been made by the state government to control the invasion through a rapid spray.
“In order to avoid the recurrence of the incident this year, the Ministry of Agriculture has been directed to immediately make requirements and other measures to control the army worms menace immediately”, he said.
He directed that fertilizer be sold directly to farmers to guard against shylock marketers.
He said adequate fertilizer and other farming implements had been made available to meet the growing demands of farmers across the state l.
Mohammed announced that the Bauchi Fertilizer Blending Company blended 200 trucks of NPK 20-10-10 fertilizer.
He said that the production of the commodity will continue up to the next year.
“Furthermore, the government will provide the fertilizer on loan to interested civil servants in the state to be paid in instalments through direct deduction from source if they so wish”, he said.
According to him, the opportunity is to encourage farming and self-employment to the teaming civil servants in the state in order to enhance their economic base.
He said that the Ministry of Agriculture has been directed to ensure that fertilizer was taken to each district and ward to enable the farmers to access it with ease.
The Governor stated that NPK fertilizer is to be sold to farmers at N15,000 against the production cost of N17,800.
He maintained that the gesture was meant to ease the financial burden on farmers in accessing the commodity.
Mohammed directed the ministry to monitor all negative tendencies related to the sales and distribution process.
He expressed concerns that many farmers lacked the needed experience towards modern farming techniques.
The governor also directed the Ministry of Agriculture to forward a proposal for the employment of agricultural extension workers and other agriculture-related personnel.
In his welcoming address, Commissioner for Agriculture, Barrister Jidauna Tula Mbami appealed to farmers to adhere to the prediction of (NIMET) of low rainfall in parts of the country.
On his part, the Chairman, All Farmers Association, Alhaji Yusuf Gambo commended the state government for subsidizing the amount of fertilizer and other farming inputs.
He said that the gesture would go a long way in encouraging large-scale farming across the state.