Ortom flags off sale of fertiliser in Benue, pegs N4,000 a bag

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State at the weekend flagged off 2019 sale and distribution of fertiliser to farmers at a subsidised rate of N,4000 per bag to boost farming activities in the state.

Ortom while declaring the Sale and distribution open at the State Fertilizer Blending Plants in Makurdi, said that the aim was to boost agricultural production, reduce poverty and create jobs in the state.

The governor who was represented by his deputy, Engr Benson Abounu announced that one bag of 50kg of fertilizer irrespective of brand, be sold to farmers at N4,000 only while a litre of Liquid Organic Fertilizer shall be sold to farmers at subsidised rate of N2,000 as well as a litre of Plant Health Promoter to be sold to farmers at the subsidised rate of N3,500.00 only.

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He explained that over 40% cost on all brands of fertilizer would be borne by the State Government to make the products affordable to teeming farmers.

“Our State is blessed with a lot of agricultural potentials and Government is poised to offer maximum support to harness these potentials to fast-track economic and social development of our people. The re-election of our Administration, therefore, is another opportunity to aggressively pursue the attainment of these objectives”

“Already, we have worked out modalities for the take-off of the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project 3 (RAAMP3) in the State to enhance the development and rehabilitation of 500 kilometres of Rural Roads across the State for easy movement of farm produce to markets”, Ortom stressed

Governor Ortom stated that before the end of his first tenure, the State Executive Council approved and directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to engage Vendors to supply 180 Trucks, an equivalent of 5,400 Metric Tons of Granulated Inorganic Fertilizer, 5,000 litres of Liquid Organic Fertilizer and 2,500 litres of Plant health promoter to meet fertilizer needs of farmers in the State.

According to him, for the 2019 cropping season, Ministry of Agriculture has engaged credible Vendors to sustain the supply of enough quality fertilizer to farmers and has also directed that Vendors having outstanding payments of the subsidy component should be paid with immediate effect.

Earlier in her address, the permanent secretary ministry of agriculture and natural resources, Mrs Helen Atom said that the ministry has evolved concrete strategy to check sharp practices by middlemen and fertilizer rocketeers.

She assured that fertilizers would be supplied to farmers directly at the rural areas at the designed sales point.

The Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Benue State chapter, Mr Aondongu Saaku, appealed to the state government to clear lands in all local government areas in the state to enable farmers to increase their production.

Mr Saaku also implored the government to review the settlement pattern of the state as a scarttered settlement has overtaken their farmlands.

He solicited the support of the government to the adoption of standard weights and measures in all markets across the state to prevent the cheap evacuation of farmers’ produce by non-indigenes and traders.