As part of efforts to boost food security, create wealth for farmers and encourage them to improve agricultural practices, the Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Wednesday commenced the distribution of inputs to farmers in the state for the 2023 farming season.
Items distributed included cassava, mobile processing machine, fish smoking kiln, fish vat (mini tank), wheelbarrows, fertilizers, rice seeds, herbicides, pesticide and vaccines for livestock.
Speaking during the distribution in Benin-city, the state Functioning Permanent Secretary, Mr. Sunday Erhunmwonsere, on behalf of the state government, said the distribution is a testament to the government’s plans to ensure food security and create awareness on the various government interventions in the state.
Specifically he added that the distribution of inputs was also to encourage farmers to improve their agricultural practices, increase food production, and create wealth for themselves.
According to him, “Today, the state government is providing this support and would also provide offtakers to buy off the produce after harvest.
“Those that will benefit today have been carefully selected. They have been in the farming business for decades. Today is just the flag off; the inputs will be taken to the various local government areas for distribution.”
The permanent secretary assured the farmers that the government would also provide extension services to help guide them through the farming season, and urged them to make judicious use of the inputs.
On his part, the representative of the National Special Programme for Food Security (NSPFS), Ibrahim Iro, said the fertilizers and seeds were provided under the federal government livelihoods support programme.
Iro noted that the inputs would be distributed to vulnerable farmers who were selected based on comparative advantage and vulnerability to flood in 12 states.
He said: “12 states were selected by the NSPFS in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
“Two states from each of the geopolitical zones-Borno and Yobe from Northeast; Kwara and Benue from North Central; Kaduna and Katsina from Northwest; Lagos and Ondo States from Southwest; Edo and Cross River from South-south, and Enugu and Abia States from the Southeast-were chosen.”
He added that the fertilizers and seeds are expected to assist the vulnerable farmers to produce more and create wealth for themselves.
Also speaking, Rev’d Canon Sam Aisien, a consulting agronomist for Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc, commended the state and the federal governments for the kind gesture, while he warned farmers against purchase of oil palm seedlings from the roadside, adding that the seeds were usually not fruitful.
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