The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development , Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono , on Friday, November 27, 2020 flagged-off the Ministry’s distribution of farm inputs to smallholder farmers in Kebbi and Jigawa States worst hit by the recent flooding that ravaged farmlands in both states and other parts of the country. He said that the exercise is in fulfilment of the pledge he made to the farmers during his earlier visit in the wake of the flood disaster.
The Minister, in company of Governors; Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and Mohammed Baduru Abubakar of Jigawa State, respectively, during his separate visits to both States, reminded them of his pledge to return to the states with relief packages to assist the affected farmers. He said, “ you may wish to recall that I visited you some few weeks back at the peak of the flooding in this area and made a promise that I would come back with some relief materials to assist the affected farmers. So, today, I am here to fulfil that promise”.
Speaking at the separate events held at the Kebbi Stadium and Auyo Secretariat in Auyo Local Government Area of Jigawa State, Nanono pointed out that the advent of the floods had greatly compounded the negative impact heralded by the Covid-19 Pandemic on the nation’s food security situation.
He further stated that the “desire to alleviate the loss and suffering caused by the floods informed the Ministry’s decision to support the smallholder farmers with various inputs especially improved seeds of some priority crops namely; rice, maize, wheat and cowpea through the farmers associations, women and youth groups in the flood affected areas”.
The Minister urged the beneficiaries “to use these inputs in this dry season to produce food for their households and the nation”. He expressed optimism that “these support will greatly improve our food and nutrition security as well as enhance our small holder farmers’ recovery from effect of these natural disasters”.
Nanono said the flag – off exercise “is the beginning in the series of distribution of the Ministry’s support to farmers who are victims of the flood disaster that occurred recently. There will be other input support distribution in other parts of the country where farmers have been greatly affected by the flood. Improved seeds and seedlings of maize, yam, sweet potato, rice and wheat among others will be distributed to farmers in the affected areas”.
According to the Minister, “this is the first tranche of what we have in our Federal Department of Agriculture store. More support from the Ministry will still come to you. This is another promise that would be fulfilled In sha Allah”.
Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu, represented by the Deputy Governor, Col Samaila Yombe (Rtd),acknowledged the massive support of the Federal Government to the State since the flood disaster. He expressed confidence that the farm input will help to boost the dry season farming in the state.
In his remarks, Governor of Jigawa State, represented by Hon Commissioner for Agriculture in the State, Alhaji Mohammed Alhassan, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his love and care for Nigerians and commended the Minister for fulfilling his promise to revisit the state to flag -off the input distribution.
He admonished the people not to see the inputs as food to be eaten but that it is seeds expected to be reproduced.
The Commissioner of Agriculture in Kebbi State , Alhaji Attahiru Machido, in his remarks stated that the recent flooding experienced by the state was monumental and had affected the economy, farmlands, infrastructure and livelihoods. He said the farm input is a welcome development and solicited for more support from the government.