Federal Government on Thursday disclosed its resolve to donate 114,315 (50kg) bags of fertilizers to farmers in Kogi State.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq handed over fertilizers to the Kogi State Government for onward distribution to farmers affected by the flood, according to a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Mrs Rhoda Iliya.
The Minister subsequently spot-checked the disbursement of two months Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, under the Emergency Agricultural Intervention Programme for farmers affected by conflicts and flood in 2018 and the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).
According to Sadiya Farouq, 19,803 bags of fertilizers will be distributed to farmers in Ofu and Lokoja Local Government Areas of the State.
“The total quantity of NPK fertilizers required after verification of the farmers is 114,315 bags of 50kg: 54,900 bags were delivered to the State.
“From the quantity delivered, 35,097 bags were distributed to farmers in five Local Government Areas including Kogi (Koton Karfe), Ajaokuta, Igalamela-Odolu, Omala and Ibaji. Starting from today, 19,803 bags of fertilizers will be distributed to farmers in Ofu and Lokoja Local Government Areas.
“The balance of 59,415 bags being processed by the blending plants will be delivered as soon as it is ready.
It is worthy of note that fertilizer distribution is the final phase of Federal Government assistance to the farmers to enable them to recover from the losses suffered in order to alleviate poverty and empower them. May I, therefore, use this opportunity to appeal to the beneficiaries to make the best use of the fertilizer,” she noted.
The Minister noted that Kogi State is an agrarian State with the citizens largely engaged in farming activities. The frequent occurrence of flood has continued to threaten this potential.
“The Yearly Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency on 24th January 2020 and the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) released by the Hydrological Services Agency, have forecasted that in Kogi State, the highly probable flood risk in 2020 will include Bassa, Dekina, Lokoja, Omala local Government Areas; while the probable flood risk areas are Idah, Igalamela-Odolu, Koton-karfe, Ajaokuta, Ofu, Adavi Local Government Areas.
To this end, the Minister called on the State Government to take proactive and necessary mitigation measures in addressing these issues, adding that the Ministry has taken note of this year’s prediction and is working with stakeholders to mitigate the possible effect of such flooding.
She also inspected the disbursement of two months cycle of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) for the months of May and June to 62,129 beneficiaries across the State.
According to her, Mr President had earlier directed the Ministry to pay the beneficiaries of CCT for two months in advance at the onset of COVID-19 lockdown.
This has been done in April for the months of January/February and March/April. The Ministry is currently paying for the months of May and June.
On his part, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono handed over farm inputs including cashew seeds, soya beans, sesame seeds and agrochemicals to the State Government for distribution to farmers.
In his remarks, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief David Onoja, who applauded Mr President’s kind gesture for supporting the farmers in the state with farm inputs and fertilizers, assured that the support will go a long way to boost agriculture and alleviate poverty.
He also thanked the Federal Government for supporting the poorest of the poor in the State through the CCT programme.