The Federal Government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, on Thursday began the distribution of 114, 315 (50kg) bags of fertilisers to farmers affected by 2018 flooding in Kogi State.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, handed over the bags fertilizers to the Kogi State Government during the inauguration ceremony in Lokoja, for onward distribution to farmers affected by the 2018 flooding in the state.
She said that the bags of fertiliser would be distributed by the ministry through National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to farmers in collaboration with the State government.
The minister also monitored the disbursement of two months Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, under the Emergency Agricultural Intervention Programme beneficiaries under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).
According to 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 said.
The Minister noted that Kogi State is an agrarian State with the citizens largely engaged in farming activities, saying, ”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.
Also inaugurated was the roll out of Agricultural inputs to be distributed to Kogi farmers and nationwide as parts of the Federal Government’s palliatives against COVID-19 pandemic.
In his remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammed Sabo-Nanono, said the agricultural inputs was parts of the federal government’s palliatives to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on food and nutrition, as well as security of the nation.
Sabo-Nanono handed over farm inputs including cashew seeds, soya beans, sesame seeds and agrochemicals to the State Government for distribution to farmers.
The minister urged the beneficiaries to use the agricultural inputs judiciously to make food abundantly available in the country in order to defeat the negative impacts of COVID-19 in the country.
In his remarks, Kogi Deputy Governor, Chief Edward David Onoja, who flagged off the distribution on behalf of Gov. Yahaya Bello, 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 promised that the fertilisers would be effectively utilised and distributed accordingly as specified by the minister in the five council areas.
He also thanked the Federal Government for supporting the poorest of the poor in the State through the CCT programme.
Also present at the occasion was the Director General of NEMA, Air Vice Marshal Muhammadu Muhammed (rtd), officials of both the Ministries of Agriculture and Humanitarian Affairs