By Chimezie Godfrey
The Humanitarian Affairs Ministry has handed over fertilizers to the Kogi State Government.
In a statement signed by the Ministry’s Deputy Director of Information, Rhoda Ishaku Iliya, the Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq, stressed that the fertizers is to be distributed to farmers affected by flood in the state.
Farouq also spot-checked the disbursement of two months Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) approved by President Buhari under the Emergency Agricultural Intervention Programme for farmers affected by conflicts and flood in 2018 and the National Social Investment Programme(NSIP).
The Minister said 19, 803 bags of fertilizers will be distributed to farmers in Ofu and Lokoja Local Government Areas of the State.
“The total quantity of NPK fertllizers required after verification of the farmers is 114, 315 bags of 50 kg: 54,900 bags were delivered to the State. From the quantity delivered, 35, 097 bags were distributed to farmers in five Local Government Areas including Kogi (Koton Karfe), Ajaokuta, Igalamela-Odolu, Omala and Ibaji.
“Starting from today, 19, 803 bags of fertilizers will be distributed to farmers in Ofu and Lokoja Local Government Areas.
“The balance of 59, 415 bags being processed by the blending plants will be delivered as soon as it is ready.
“It is worthy of note that fertllizer distribution is the final phase of Federal Government assistance to the farmers to enable them recover from the losses suffered in order to alleviate poverty and empower them.
“May I therefore use this opportunity to appeal to the beneficiaries to make the best use of the fertilizer,” she stated.
The Minister noted that Kogi State is an agrarian State with the citizens largely engaged in farming activities.
She was therefore pained by the fact that the frequent occurrence of flood has continued to threaten this potential.
“The Yearly Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency on 24th January, 2020 and the Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) released by the Hydrological Services Agency, have forcasted that in Kogi State, the highly probable flood risk in 2020 will include Bassa, Dekina, Lokoja, and Omala local Government Areas.
“While the probable flood risk areas are Idah, Igalamela-Odolu, Koton-karfe, Ajaokuta, Ofu, Adavi Local Government Areas,” she stressed.
The Minister called on the State Government to take proactive and necessary mitigative measures in addressing these issues, adding that the ministry has taken note of this year’s prediction and is working with stakeholders to mitigate the possible effect of such flooding.
Farouq also inspected the disbursement of two months cycle of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) for the Months of May and June to 62,129 beneficiaries across the State.
According to her, President Buhari had earlier directed the Ministry to pay the beneficiaries of CCT for two months in advance at the onset of COVID-19 lockdown.
She disclosed that this has been done in April for the months of January/ February and March/April. The MINISTRY is currently paying for the months of May and June.
She also inspected the warehouse where the fertilizers were kept along with the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Chief Edward Onoja and the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Mrs. Folashade Ayo-Ade Arike.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Alhaji Sabo Nanono, at the venue handed over farm inputs including cashew seeds, soyabeans, sesame seeds and agrochemicals to the State Government for distribution to farmers.
The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, David Edward Onoja, appreciated the Kind gesture of Mr President for supporting the farmers in the state with farm inputs and fertilizers which will go a long way to boost agriculture and alleviate poverty.
He also thanked the federal government for supporting the poorest of the poor in the State through the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme.