The Kaduna State chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has appealed to the government at all levels to promptly acquire and distribute farm inputs for the coming crop season.
The state AFAN Chairman, Nuhu Aminu, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Kaduna on Wednesday. He said that the association, after taking due cognisance of the over 500,000 farming families in the state, could not afford to delay its preparations to support the farmers in good time.
“We, therefore, appeal for the immediate release of fertlisers, tractors, seeds and insecticides by all the three tiers of governments to farmers. “The early release of the inputs will boost the morale of AFAN members and encourage them to move to their farms early,’’ he said.
Besides, Aminu underscored the need for the three tiers of government to provide the farmers with loans so as to aid their efforts to increase productivity in the 2017 season. He said that AFAN had already concluded plans to grow more crops this season, in line with the Federal Government’s agenda for economic diversification through agriculture. However, Aminu lauded the Federal Government for the recent launch of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, which was expected to make available 400,000 tonnes of fertiliser in Kaduna State alone.
Recall that Mr Thomas Etuh, the President of Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN), said that the initiative would save about 200 million U.S. dollars in foreign exchange for the Federal Government.
He said that under the initiative, fertiliser blending plants in the country had been increased to 32, from the initial five which were operating at about 10 per cent of their production capacity.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna Government has also announced plans to procure 55,000 tonnes of assorted fertilisers for distribution to farmers in the 2017 cropping season.