From Abel Leonard, Lafia
The Nasarawa State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture, has warmed the State Ministry of Agriculture against sharp practices in the sales/ distribution of Fertilizers to farmers across the state.
This, the committee said, was to boost food production in the state and enhance transparency in the system for the benefit of farmers.
Hon Ibrahim Peter Akwe, the Chairman of the committee made the call when management of the State Ministry of Agriculture and Nasarawa Agricultural Development Programme ( NADP) appeared before the committee on their 2022 budgets performances.
He explained that the agricultural sector is very important and critical to the growth of the state hence the need for more proactive steps by government to address emerging changes facing the sector.
” The state government have to declare a state of emergency in the agricultural sector, if really we want to get it right in this sector.
” As the importance of agriculture to human ad societal development could not be overemphasized.
” Agriculture provides food, generate employment and revenue among other benefits.
” Hence the need for all hands to be on deck in order to address the challenges facing the sector in the state.,” he said.
Akwe also called on the state government to employ more extension workers in order to boost food production in the state.
” It is really disturbing to hear that one extension worker is attached to 12,000 to 15,000 farmers in the state,” he added
The chairman urged the ministry to ensure prudence in the distribution of fertilizers to farmers across the state in order to boost food production.
Akwe also called on the state government to declare a state of emergency in the agricultural sector in order to address the challenges facing the sector in the state.
He said that if the state government declared state of emergency in the agricultural sector, it would not only boost food production but would also improve on the standard of living of the people of the state.
Earlier, Mr Nuhu Ibrahim Oshafu, the Commissioner for Agriculture, has appreciated the committee for supporting its activities to succeed’
He told the committee that the state has purchased and distributed 21 trucks of fertilizers at the sum of N238million in the state.
The commissioner disclosed that when he assumed office 12 and half trucks of Fertilizers were handed over to him but when taking the stock of the products, 9 trucks of fertilizers disappeared in the store, adding that an Accountant and store officer were arrested in connection to that and currently on suspension while investigation was ongoing.
Also in appearance was Emmanuel Allahnana, the Programme Manager of Nasarawa Agricutural Development Programme ( NADP) where he thanked the committee for the support the agency is enjoying from them and called for its sustenance.
He assured of their readiness to be up and doing in initiating different policies and programmes that would boost food production in the state.
The programme Management, however, appealed for the employment of more extension workers in order to address agricultural challenges and boost food production in the state.