The Niger State government has said that it had selected 125 farmers to benefit from the FADAMA Covid-19 Action Recovery Economic Stimulus (NCARES) to increase food production in the state. Alhaji Haliru Jikantoro , the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, made this known in Minna while inaugurating the 2021 distribution of inputs to NCARES beneficiaries.
“The FADAMA has selected 125 farmers to benefit from its COVID-19 N-CARES and increase food production in the state,” he said. Jikantoro said that five farmers from each of the 25 local government areas of the state were selected to benefit under rice, maize and sorghum value chains, adding that the goal of the N-CARES programme was to increase food security and safe functioning of food supply chains.
“The project development objective is to protect livelihoods and food security of poor and vulnerable families and facilitate recovery of local economic activity in all participating states across Nigeria.
“The agricultural livelihoods and food security support under the N-CARES will include investments and policy measures to mitigate impacts on agricultural livelihoods, enhance their resilience to economic shocks and facilitate faster recovery to lay the foundation for agricultural value chains to generate more and better jobs,” he said.
The Commissioner cautioned the beneficiaries against selling the agricultural inputs they were given, to purchase foodstuff and rams for the forthcoming Sallah. “It will be a mistake for you to sell the inputs given to you to buy food and ram for the Sallah celebrations. “A bag of rice, sorghum or maize paddy may be able to buy you a ram or rice or whatever you may need for the Sallah, but it will be a mistake for you to sell it.
“This is because Sallah is just one day, but if you go ahead to plant these seeds and use the other inputs, it will benefit you greatly by lifting you and your family from the current level you are in,” he said.
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Earlier, Dr Hassan Kontagora, FADAMA N-CARES Coordinator in the state, stated that each beneficiary would be supported with four 50kg bags of NPK fertilisers, two 50kg bags of urea fertilisers, four liters of herbicide, a liter of pesticide and 25 to 50kg of rice, maize and sorghum seeds, depending on the farmer’s enterprise.
“In short, we are distributing 37.5 metric tonnes of NPK and Urea fertilisers, 3.8 metric tonnes of rice, maize and sorghum seeds, 500 litres of herbicides and 125 litres of herbicides,” he said.