The Bauchi State Government has flagged off the 2020 farming season with the approval of N653 million revolving fund to the Bauchi State Agricultural Supply Company (BASAC) as part of efforts to ensure the continuous supply of genuine and certified fertilizers to farmers at a subsidized rate in the state.
The State governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, disclosed the package during the weekend at the official launching ceremony of the 2020 farming season sales of fertilizers and OPC Africa COVID 19 palliative support project to Bauchi farmers in Bauchi.
According to the Governor, the present administration came into power with a zeal to change the old practice of agricultural activities to a modern system where farmers can benefit immensely with a new approach.
Mohammed said that his administration inherited an agricultural sector that was comatose, pointing out that the extension department of the Ministry of Agriculture where there was extension farming was neglected for years.
“In our efforts to revolutionalize the sector and write the wrongs of the past, the government has started settling almost N700 million debt inherited on fertilizers incurred by the last administration to the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA. With this arrangement, Bauchi State has gotten out of the black book of NSIA and we are now relisted to continue benefiting from NPK Presidential fertilizer initiative.
“I am calling on the agency to make judicious use of the fund as we have purchased organic fertilizers worth N99 million to support farmers to increase their output. Government has equally purchased assorted grains worth N150 million as part of strategic grains reserve programme while we have restored collaboration with OPC Africa Morocco to develop the agricultural sector,” he hinted.
During the event, the State Commissioner of Agriculture, Pharmacist Sama’ila Adamu Burga said that the state government in its one year of inception has transformed the agricultural sector by implementing a solid agricultural policy that is tailored towards the development of the sector.
He listed some of the achievements of the administration in the agricultural sector to include: purchase and distribution of insecticide sprays for 3,850, youths, purchase of 5,000 water pump to be distributed during dry season farming, purchase of organic fertilizers and other agricultural inputs for farmers, the release of N200 million for settlement of N700 million debt owed to NSIA amongst other achievements.