The Federal Government has commenced the distribution of inputs to small holders farmers in the South East region.
While flagging off the free distribution ceremony over the weekend in Owerri, Imo, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono said that the distribution was made to ensure farmers have access to quality seeds.
Daily Times reports that similar task have been performed earlier in the South South.
In a statement signed by the Ministry’s spokesperson, Theodore Ogaziechi on Sunday, August 9, stated ‘’through this effort and other complementary interventions by different stakeholders, the government hopes to increase quality seeds, the resilience of farmers, accessibility and the national food systems in general’’.
‘’The Ministry is supporting breeder and foundation seeds production and linking up with the private seed companies to make certified seeds available to farmers’’.
‘’This coupled with our efforts to improve rural infrastructure and other value-chains supports would invariably contribute to the attainment of Mr. President’s desire to ensure easy access to quality food and nutrition by Nigerians.
’’The distribution of agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers which include different categories of seeds, seedlings of cocoa, sprouted nuts of oil palm, vines of orange flesh, sweet potatoes, one node vine cuttings of yam and its seeds and groundnut seeds as part of the Ministry’s interventions to reduce the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural production in Nigeria and prevent food scarcity in 2021.
‘’The Ministry is distributing 20,000 cocoa seedlings over 5,000 oil palm sprouted nuts and 1,500 kg cashew seeds to farmers in Imo state.
”In addition, yam farmers through their national association and other cooperative groups will be supported with 20,000 nos one node vine cuttings and 10,000 nos foundation seeds of yam as well as 200 liters of pathway organic growth enhancer. Potatoes farmers will benefit from 1,500 bundles of orange fleshed sweet potatoes that were distributed at the occasion, and 200 liters of pathway organic solution for the yam farmers’’.
Nanono said the Ministry will also suppor groundnut farmers through the Groundnut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association (GPPMAN) with improved 3 mt groundnut seeds.
He disclosed that in the roll out distribution exercise, at least 35% of the agricultural inputs are targeted at women farmers in line with the targets set in our National Gender Plan and Policies aimed at ensuring increased opportunities for women.
Nanono informed that the next major roll-out of support to farmers after the South East will take place in Borno State, where improved wheat, groundnut and rice seeds as well as gum Arabic seedlings will be distributed to farmers nationwide along with their inputs.
In his remarks, Imo State governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma said, ” Imo State will buy into the Agriculture policy because the state has Agricultural potentials which will create jobs for its teeming Youth population and boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the state and Nigeria in general “.