Dry Season Farming: Farmers bemoans hike in price of fertilisers

Farmers in Hadejia recently expressed their fears in the hike of fertilisers in this year dry season farmers in Hadejia, in Jigawa State due to its scarcity of which the farmers bemoans that the trend was seriously affecting agricultural activities.

Malam Musa Muhammad, a wheat grower, said he was experiencing difficulties in sourcing for the commodity due to the exorbitant market prices, adding that  a bag of assorted fertiliser attracts as much as N6,500 in an open market.

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He said the situation was discouraging as farmers began cultivation for the dry season, saying that, “the price of fertiliser is too high and it might affect productivity.’’

Investigation, however, revealed that a bag of NPK and Urea brand of fertiliser were sold for between N4,500 and N6,000 in the local market.

A rice farmer, Malam Yusha’u Abdu, attributed the hikes to the inability of the government to supply the commodity directly to farmers, adding that farmers were accessing the commodity at the markets which forced prices up.

“In the past, the government under Gross Enhancement Support (GES) programme, distributed fertiliser and seedlings to farmers at subsidised rate , We call for the review and expansion of the programme to enhance farmer access to fertiliser and inputs,’’  he said.

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GES is a critical component of Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA) initiated by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. The programme, otherwise called e-wallet, was designed to ensure prompt supply of fertiliser and inputs to farmer via Short Messages Service (SMS).

Before now, according   to statistics from the Jigawa chapter of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), more than 150,000 registered farmers benefited from the GES programme in the state.