Benue state government at the weekend pegged this year’s fertiliser price at N4,000 per bag to enable farmers in the state purchase the product for their farm use with less financial stress. The Deputy Governor of the state, Engr. Benson Abounu, who flagged off the 2019 fertilizer sales and distribution in the state urged citizens to embrace farming as it offers better prospects than oil which he said was fast depleting.
Abounu announced that one bag of 50kg of fertiliser irrespective of brand will cost N4000, with one litre of liquid organic fertiliser to be sold at N2,000 and a litre of Plant Health Promoter pegged at N3,500. “I have the privilege and honour to declare the 2019 Fertilizer Sales and Distribution open and to announce that one bag of 50kg of fertilizer irrespective of brand, be sold to farmers at N4,000.00 only.
“Similarly, a litre of Liquid Organic Fertilizer shall be sold to farmers at subsidized rate of N2,000.00 only and a litre of Plant Health Promoter to be sold to farmers at the subsidized rate of N3,500.00 only. This means that over 40% cost on all brands of fertilizer will be borne by the State Government to make the products affordable to our farmers,” he said. The deputy governor who performed the ceremony at the Benue Fertilizer Blending and Mixing Plant located at the Industrial Layout in Makurdi further stated that for the state to retain its position as the food basket of the nation, its people should ignore all distractions and focus on developing their rich agricultural resources which they have in abundance. He reminded farmers that a litre of petrol costs N145 while a litre of soybean oil costs over N1,000, adding that the high price of a bag of Bambara nut, egusi, rice, groundnut oil among others are indications that farming is a lucrative business. Abounu promised that the state government will support the agricultural sector to achieve sustainable food security and accelerated improvement in the livelihood of Benue citizens. He also noted that in a conscious effort to enhance easier movement of farm produce from the hinterland to markets, the present administration had already worked out modalities for the take-off of the Rural Access and Marketing Project (RAAMP 3) and the development and rehabilitation of 500km of rural roads across the state. Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lady Helen Atom, commended the state government for its timely provision of highly subsidised fertiliser and other farm implements to farmers in the state. Atom also applauded the state government for prompt attention to the payment of subsidy to vendors as well as the payment of counterpart funds for projects in partnership with development partners under IFAD-rice/cassava value chain and the FADAMA III additional financing, the RAAMP 3 project, the procurement of tractors and other laudable projects of the administration.