Bauchi govt says N150m set aside to purchase farm produce from farmers for reserve

Bauchi state government said it has set aside the sum of N150 million for the purchase of farm produce from its farmers at appreciable prices in order to encourage farming as a business in the state.
The state commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development, Pharmacist Samaila Burga made this known on Saturday at the flagging off ceremony of sales of fertilizer for the 2020 farming season.
He said that N150 million have been provided for the purchase of grains for the state government’s strategic grain reserve.

“Government is aware that most of the farmers in the state have sold out all that they have produced at the early part of the year to the point that three weeks ago, a bag of maize was sold at the cost of N10,000 but today is selling at N16,000”, Burga said.

Burga who noted that government is very conscious of the fact that probably between July and August when farmers are going to be in their farms, there may be serious shortage of food, said government will intervene by selling at subsidise rate, the grains purchased from the farmers to caution their sufferings.

The commissioner who said the launching ceremony was a formal procedure that signifies the commencement of fertilizer sales noted that the ministry has since commenced the sales of herbicides, insecticides, sprayers and other agricultural inputs.

He said since the establishment of Bauchi Agricultural Supply Company (BASAC), Governor Bala Mohammed has been the only one to have personally visited the company.

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The commissioner attributed the governor’s decision to launch this year’s fertilizer sales in BASAC to his zeal to see for himself the level of dilapidation and abandonment, the once flourishing company has suffered under the previous administration.

Burga said the economy of Bauchi state depends largely on agriculture as a sector that employs about 85 to 90 percent of the state’s population.

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Burga said the governor has since assumption of office made concerted efforts to transform the sector from being, “a traditional way of life of our people to a real business that will enhance their earning power and attract investors, donor agencies and development partners both within and outside Nigeria”.

He said that the target of the present administration is to harness the potentials of agriculture for collective benefits and to place Bauchi state on the path of sustainable agricultural growth and socioeconomic development.

The commissioner said that the state government has purchased and distributed knapsack sprayers to 3,850 youths as well as purchased 5000 water pumps to be distributed during dry season farming.
Burga while noting that BASAC has been given adequate funds for the fertilizer revolving scheme, purchase of organic fertilizer and other farming inputs, added that N200 million have been released for the settlement of about N700 million debt misappropriated by the last administration.
“By so doing, the Bauchi state fertilizer company will resume production soonest. In fact, by Tuesday next week we will start receiving consignments of raw materials that are required for production”, he revealed.
The commissioner said that the first batch is going to be for over 10,000 metric tons of fertilizer, NPK, 20-10-10.

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