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‘We gave farmers work bull loans at zero interest rate in Jigawa’

Tell us the quantity of fertilizer sold to farmers during the rainy and dry season  since 2010?Approximately more than 80 metric tonnes of fertilizer were…

Tell us the quantity of fertilizer sold to farmers during the rainy and dry season  since 2010?
Approximately more than 80 metric tonnes of fertilizer were sold to farmers from the period under review. The Federal Government subsidized the fertilizer by 25 percent; the state government also gives 25 percent subsidy while the farmers pay for rest. From 2012 to 2013, we have some parallel line system of fertilizer distribution. We have the normal Federal Government fertilizer distribution mechanism, the GES method and the state government also procured 6,000 metric tonnes for distribution to farmers.
The state government is buying the 6,000 metric tonnes to complement the GES because not every farmer understands the GES method. As for the fertilizer bought by the state government, farmers only paid 40 percent while the state government subsidized it by 60 percent.

How many farmers  subscribed to the GES scheme in Jigawa State?
I think Jigawa was the first state to understand and participate fully in the GES. Last year we were able to access 93 percent of the fertilizer allocated to us through the GES system. But this year we recorded 100 percent participation. We were allocated 14,800 metric tonnes and we accessed all of it. About 146,000 farmers benefited from the GES this year. Each farmer got two bags of fertilizer; one NPK, one Urea and free seedlings of rice or maize.
What is the major achievement of the Jigawa State government in agriculture in the last six years?
You see there are two important components of agriculture that are important to succeed in in the agric sector.
These two factors are availability of fertilizers and good seeds. From 2007 to date, the state government procured and distributed 156,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer at subsidized rates. And in order to boost the produce and enhance the capacity of poor farmers, Governor Sule Lamido also came up with the idea of work bull loan. As I am talking to you, we have given to farmers 6,297 work bull loans at zero interest rate.
Unlike in previous arrangements where people were contracted to procure these bulls and later distribute to farmers, this time around it is the farmers themselves who went to the market to select the bulls and ploughs they wanted, while we paid the money. Our staff went to the market with the farmers and farmers checked the bulls they want to buy. If the money budgeted for the bull is lower than the market price, we give the farmers their balance but if the money is higher the farmer pay the difference and goes home with his bull.
 So the middle men and the contractors have been conveniently eliminated. Another area worth mentioning is the area of seeds. One of the far reaching decisions of the Lamido administration is the total overhaul of the Jigawa Agricultural Supply Company (JASCO).
When the government came on board, it discovered that JASCO was moribund and machinery was set in motion to revive it and make its services accessible to farmers. The 56 JASCO stores were overhauled and funds provided for the sourcing of high yielding and quick maturity seeds, agrochemical and other farming inputs. We mounted enlightenment campaign to create awareness among our farmers to patronize these stores for their seeds and other related farm needs. Today our farmers have discovered the benefit of these seeds in both the rainy and dry season farming.
One other area of achievement is the sustained peace among farmers and cattle breeders. The Lamido administration took the issue of perennial clashes between farmers and cattle rearers seriously.