Nigeria news : Nigeria’s problem will be compounded if we discard Agriculture amid COVID-19 – Niger govt Niger State Governor Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello has said that if the Nigerian state jettisons Agriculture in the face of the current novel Coronavirus, the Nation’s economic challenge would be compounded.
Bello, who spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, and Chairman Task Force on COVID-19, Alh. Ahmed Matane at the flag-off of the 2020 farming season and fertilizer and other input sales in Minna, said the solution to the present pandemic is for governments to place a priority on Agriculture.
“Our economy is slowing down, companies, businesses and industries are closing down, then if farming is abandoned, it will compound our problem.”
He explained that already, the pandemic is threatening agricultural activities for this season and if farming is abandoned, it would have dire consequences on food security of the state and nation at large.
“I believe that the only solution today is to go back to the farms. That is why we are exploring every opportunity to ensure that we maximize farming this year to the benefit of the country and Nigeria.”
The SSG further stated that despite the challenge, the state is collaborating with fertilizer dealers and companies to provide fertilizers and assorted seeds to farmers at subsidized rates.
He revealed that the fertilizers would be sold at N5, 500 per bag NPK while Urea would be sold for N7,000 per bag.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Haliru Zakari Jikantoro explained that the sale of the fertilizer and other agricultural inputs is to cut off the activities of middlemen in the fertilizer distribution network in the state.
He also disclosed that soon a monitoring committee will be set up at the state, local government and ward levels to monitor the sales of the fertilizers and agricultural input.
Speaking, the state Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mallams Shehu Galadima drew the attention of the government to adulterated fertilizers and seedlings being sold to the farmers in the state.
Galadima then called on the state government to take up the issue seriously and bring the perpetrators to book.