FG distributes Agric Inputs to 90 Small – Holder Farmers in Ebonyi

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FIC Report (Ebonyi State) – The Federal Government has distributed assorted agricultural inputs to 90 farmers in Ebonyi under the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS).

It also trained 30 of the beneficiaries who were into poultry production in modern methods of poultry farming.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS) Mr Temitope Fashedem declared open the programme on Friday in Abakaliki.

He said that the President Bola Tinubu’s led federal government was committed to food sufficiency and provision of food security to Nigerians.

The Permanent Secretary represented by Mrs Amaka Unyanwa, a principal agric officer in Ebonyi office of the ministry said that the training would equip beneficiaries with requisite knowledge and skills to handle the farm inputs they were going to receive.

According to him, 60 crop farmers drawn from three clusters from the three senatorial districts of the state and 30 poultry farmers were profiled to benefit from the empowerment.

He said that NPRGS was a scheme initiated by the federal government to increase food productivity and was being implemented by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning (FMBNP) in collaboration with FMAFS through the federal Department of Agricultural Extension.

The programme started in 2021 and it is a strategy that the federal government wanted to use to reduce poverty and food insecurity in the country.

The government wanted to start with small-holder farmers based on the fact that small-holder farmers are the backbone in the country’s agricultural sector.

The programme is designed to run for 10 years from 2021 to 2031 and the federal government intends to introduce policies and programmes that will reduce the poverty gap within the period of the programme,” Fashedemi said.

He explained that the first phase of the programme was held in February where farmers were duly identified, verified and validated by the Ebonyi Agricultural Development Programme (EBADP).

The permanent secretary noted that the second phase of the exercise involved the training of poultry farmers and equipping them with 25 day-old chicks and poultry feeds.

The training is for 30 poultry farmers drawn 10 each from the three senatorial districts; the 60 crop farmers are drawn from three clusters gotten from the three senatorial zones and were chosen 20 farmers from each cluster.

The crop farmers will be empowered as a cluster; they will be given one power-tiller a cluster, 25 knapsack sprayers per cluster, four cartons of liquid fertiliser per cluster and also four cartons of herbicide per cluster.

Fadeshemi advised beneficiaries to utilise the inputs and warned against diversion or sale of the farm inputs.

Earlier, Dr William Obazi, state coordinator, FMAFS in Ebonyi said that stakeholders in the agricultural sector in Ebonyi were involved in the selection of the farmers to ensure that only real farmers were chosen.

He said that the programme had assisted in enhancing food availability and reduction of food insecurity in the state and extolled the President for his timely intervention in the agric sector.

The Ebonyi State Agricultural Development Programme through their extension officers monitors beneficiaries even to their farms to assess their performances and as well as ensure that farmers utilised inputs they received,” Obazi said.