Gov Bala cautions farmers against planting in flood-proned areas

Mohammed Kaka Misau, Bauchi

Farmers in Bauchi state have been cautioned against planting in flood prone areas in order to avoid falling victims of flooding this farming season.

The Governor of the state, Senator Bala Mohammed gave the warning while speaking during the flagging-off ceremony of the 2023 farming season in Azare town of Katagum local government area of Bauchi state on Tuesday.

He said, in his administration’s effort to diversify the economy of the state and ensure food security, agricultural sector would continue to receive the priority it deserves.

“I want to draw the attention of our farmers to this year’s farming seasonal rainfall prediction (SRP) by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) which indicated that in most parts of the state, planting season is going to start towards the end of this month (May), and there may be flooding in some parts of the state”, he said.

The Governor therefore, urged the farmers to make good use of the NIMET prediction and avoid planting in areas that are highly prone to flooding.

Governor Bala who recalled that the influx of army worms were recorded in some parts of the state at the beginning of last year’s farming season which resulted to destruction of crops in many farms, said concerted efforts were made by the government to control them through rapid spray.

“In order to avoid the recurrence of the incident this year, the ministry of agriculture has been directed to immediately make requirements and other measures to control the army worms menace immediately”, he said.

He directed that the fertilizer be sold directly to the farmers to guard them against falling prey to shylock marketers.

According to the governor, adequate fertilizer and other farming implements have been made available to meet the growing demands of farmers across the state to ensure food sufficiency.

Bala Mohammed announced that the state government has through the Bauchi Fertilizer Blending Company blended 200 trucks of NPK 20-10-10 fertilizer, adding that the production of the commodity will continue up to the next year.

“Furthermore, government will provide the fertilizer on loan to interested Civil servants in the state to be paid in instalment through direct deduction from source if they so wish”, he said.

According to Bala Mohammed, the opportunity is to encourage farming and self employment to the teaming civil servants in the state in order to enhance their economic base.

He said that the agric ministry has been directed to ensure that the fertilizer is taken to each district and wards to enable the farmers access it with ease.

The Governor who stated that NPK fertilizer is to be sold to farmers at N15,000 against the production cost of N17,800, maintained that the gesture was meant to ease the financial burden on farmers in accessing the commodity.

Bala Mohammed who directed the State Ministry of Agriculture to monitor all negative tendencies related to the sales and distribution process, expressed concerns that many farmers lacked the needed experience towards modern farming techniques.

The Governor also directed the ministry of agriculture to forward a proposal for the employment of agricultural extension workers and other agric related personnel to the office of the state head of service for onward transmission to civil service commission for subsequent employment.

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