The Federal Government said it has distributed over 18,000kg of organic insecticide to combat army worm infestation and 66,000 cocoa seedlings to farmers nationwide, to shore up food sufficiency.
Minister of State, Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, stated during a flag off distribution of agricultural inputs in Oyo State.
In a statement from the ministry yesterday, he stated that government would continue to support breeder and foundation seeds production and linking up with the private seed companies to make certified seeds available to farmers for excellent yield.
“The Ministry is also distributing over 18,000kg of organic insecticide to combat army worm infestation in maize. We are also distributing 66,000 cocoa seedlings to farmers nationwide. These seeds are being given to farmers free of charge while other inputs are given at 75% subsidy.
“The yam farmers through their national association and other cooperative groups is also being supported with about 12 MT of foundation seed for production of certified seeds.
“The distribution of agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers which include different categories of seeds of Kenaf, yam and cocoa seedlings is part of the Ministry’s intervention to reduce the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural production in Nigeria and avert food scarcity in 2021.
“Since smallholders are the most vulnerable, it become imperative for the government to support them with the much-needed inputs especially seeds, which is the most important factor that influences farmers’ yield in order to enable them to recover quickly from the set back of the Pandemic.”
Shehuri also solicited a robust synergy with state governments and stakeholders in cushioning the effect of COVID -19 on food security.
Meanwhile, Governor, Oluseyi Makinde, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Olubamiwo Adeosun, said the state adopted innovative and modern technology to ensure data- driven process that is empirically documented and evidence driven.