Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Kaduna State Commissioner of Agriculture, Hajiya Halima Lawal, has raised the alarm over activities of middlemen in sale of fertilisers, saying that the state has put measures in place to check any act of diversion and racketeering of the essential commodity.
Lawal noted that middlemen have formed the habit of buying and reselling fertilisers above the official price of N5,000 per bag.
In a press statement issued by the commissioner, the ministry lamented that in spite of state measures, there are reports of some individuals buying up fertilisers by proxy.
‘These middlemen, through their agents, buy up as many bags of fertilisers as possible, with the intention of reselling above the official price of N5,000,’ the commissioner said.
Hajiya Halima warned that security operatives are on the lookout for such suspicious moves, saying that culprits will face the full wrath of the law.
According to her, the ministry has been ‘making radio and television announcements, advising residents to report all suspicious cases of diversions or any illicit activities.’
The commissioner promised that ‘whistle-blowers should remain assured of their anonymity while reporting to the appropriate authority.’
The Ministry of Agriculture warned the perpetrators to desist from such unpatriotic acts which pose a threat to food security and the economy.
The statement recalled that security agencies have been sensitised to respect the essential services status granted to farmers and workers in the agriculture value chain.
The ministry commended farmers for working tirelessly to ensure food availability amidst the lock-down, adding that they should feel free to access their farms and continue the production of food for this cropping season.
The statement encouraged farmers to use the stability of rains in the last three weeks for land preparation and other farming activities for the 2020 cropping season, adding that the ‘ministry, with the support of partners, has deployed fertilisers and other inputs to all the 23 Local Government Areas in the state.
‘Similarly, companies that sell improved seedlings and other farm inputs have been encouraged to set up shop at the various fertiliser sales points, enabling farmers to purchase all required inputs in one-stop-shops across the Local Governments’ Areas for time and cost-effectiveness,’ she added.