By Justina Asishana
A total of 1,700 people with disabilities and other less-privileged have been given agricultural inputs and agricultural processing equipment in Niger State.
The distribution was made under the Nigeria CARES (COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus) programme to beneficiaries in the 25 local government areas of Niger State.
Flagging off the distribution in New Bussa in Borgu Local Government Area, the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello, said the distribution is to support the livelihoods of the poor and vulnerable families in the state, adding that it will facilitate the recovery of local economic activities in all participating states across Nigeria.
“The agricultural livelihoods and food security support under the N-CARES is structured to include investments and policy measures to mitigate impacts on agricultural livelihoods, enhance the resilience of our farmers to return to their farms, and facilitate faster recovery to lay a solid foundation for agriculture value chains to generate employment and create jobs.
“The overall target of this initiative is to increase food security and sustain safe functioning of food supply chains”, he said.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Yusuf Mohammed Gunu, stated that out of the 1,500 beneficiaries, 747 will receive agricultural inputs under the value chains of rice, maize, sorghum, broiler and aquaculture while 753 will receive agricultural assets and small primary processing equipment.
“Each beneficiary of the crop enterprise is to be supported with two bags of 50kg NPK and one bag of Urea fertilizer respectively. This is in addition to two litres of herbicide, a litre of pesticide and five to ten kilometres of rice, maize and sorghum seeds depending on the farmer’s enterprise. While beneficiaries under broiler and aquaculture are to benefit 50-day-old chicks and 200 fish juveniles along with feeds and drugs. Overall, a total of 93.75 metric tons of NPK and Urea fertilizers, 5.58 metric tonnes of rice, maize and sorghum seed; 1,250 and 314 litres of herbicide and insecticide respectively, are to be distributed. Similarly, 505 goats, 20 individual assets and 67 group assets will be distributed to beneficiaries under the provision of agricultural assets and small primary processing.”
He urged the beneficiaries to effectively utilise the inputs and assets provided, adding that they will be monitored at the community and state level by facilitators and desk officers, the state Fadama N-CARES office, the Ministries of Agriculture and Planning Commission, respectively and even by National Agencies and the World Bank.
The Niger State Fadama N-CARES Project Coordinator, Dr Hassan Garba said that Nigeria CARES Result Area 2 intervention in the State is in four Disbursement Link Indicators (DLIs), which include the provision of agricultural inputs and services, provision of improved agricultural infrastructure, provision of agricultural assets and small primary processing and wet markets with water and sanitary services.