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    Cost of Inputs: Farmers want fertilizer distribution back to traditional rulers

    Farmers in Northern Nigeria have called on Federal Government to revive the old process of fertilizer and other farm inputs distribution by the use of traditional rulers in order to achieve better results and sanitize the system from corruption.

    The farmers, who spoke to AgroClimateNews decry over delay and alleged corruption in the present distribution process through politicians, which they said is taking the farming sector backward.

    Read Also: KSADP, Sasakawa distributes over N100m inputs to farmers

    Northern Nigeria contributes to the food security of the nation, as it is blessed with fertile land, with majority of number of farmers. Hundreds of hectares of different crops are been harvested every year from the region.

    However despite the arable farming land, many of the small holder farmers are left behind, battling to get inputs every year.

    Speaking to AgroClimateNews in Kano, a farmer in Dawakin Kudu local government area, Abdullahi Mahmud said for the past 20 years he has been farming every year but he couldn’t get a capital to rely on.

    He said “Every year we are battling to get input like fertilizer and other products that will make our farming successful. The little we get, coupled with what we have at hand is what we are managing to get what to eat in a year. But we don’t get beyond that as we lack the capital to invest in our farms.

    Abdullahi Mahmood working in his farm at Dawakin Kudu LGA, Kano state.

    “Even though every year government is sharing inputs, but its not reaching us. We had to go through a lot. That is why we are calling on the government to revive the past system of input distribution. If its through politicians, only those working for them and their associates are getting.”

    Mahmud said presently he is buying fertilizer by Mudus and later he will gather all to form one sack and apply on his farm.

    “I cannot buy one sack at once, even half of sack I cannot afford. That is why I am buying in installment. If I get money I will buy one mudu and keep until I get one sack,” he lamented.

    Similarly, another farmer, Shehu Nuhu Yau said in the past, traditional rulers are sharing inputs or selling at a subsidized rate.

    He added that the process was successful as it made easier farming activities and boosted small holder farmers.

    “That time people are getting input and only real farmers are collecting. Unlike now when corruption has destroyed the system.”

    Shehu Nuhu Yau, another young farmer in Kano.

    For Usaini Ibrahim, a rice farmer from Hadejia local government in Jigawa state, the suspension of subsidy on fertilizer and other inputs is not a wise decision, calling on the present administration to reverse the system.

    He said “Failire of the Federal Government to continue with the old system of sharing inputs at a subsidized rate had crippled many farmers, especially small and medium farmers.”

    He urged president Bola Ahmed Tinubu to revive the system for farmers to get inputs at a subsidized rate for the country to feed itself and export crops to the global markets.

    AgroClimateNews gathered that at the beginning of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the government entered an agreement with fertilizer blending companies in Nigeria to supply the raw materials from countries like Morocco, Russia, and Ukraine for them to blend for the government to sell to farmers at a subsidized rate.

    The policy, when in use through the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI), facilitated under the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), has reduced the price of the fertilizer and has impacted positively on farmers, people familiar with the policy have said.

    Speaking to AgroClimateNews on the possible reasons for the cost of fertilizer, Dr. Farouk Hamzat, owner of a fertilizer blending coy in Kano said government’s decision to stop the PTI is what led to the incessant increase of the price of fertilizer, and that the price will keep rising in as much as government allows only marketers to operate the system.

    “Marketers alone cannot handle this issue because it involves money. The private companies will only produce to get profit, and once they will buy the raw materials, they can’t sell it anywhere near the past price.

    “The only way out is to return PTI system. it will make easier everything for both the farmers and the marketers,” he said.

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