Ortom lauds FG over agricultural transformation in Benue

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has commended president Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the state government efforts at boosting agriculture through his intervention programmes.

Speaking at the flag-off and distribution of farm inputs to maize farmers in Makurdi, Benue State, through the Anchor Borrowers Programme of Central Bank of Nigeria in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria (MAAN) and Unity Bank Of Nigeria (CBN), the Governor said the agricultural transformation agenda of the federal government is in consonance with his administration’s deliberate policy on agricultural commercialization and mechanization in the State.

Governor Ortom who was represented by his Special Adviser on Information and Orientation, Mr. James Uloko, said that it was in line with the state policy on agriculture that the state government recently distributed 60 tractors to farmers to boost agricultural activities across the state. He said the same tractors were also allocated to all the 23 local government councils to support rural farmers across the state at 60 percent subsidy, saying the proceeds from the sales of tractors will be ploughed back into the purchase of more tractors for onward distribution to more farmers across the state.

Governor Ortom said Benue State collaborated with the Federal Government recently to subsidize the distribution of farm inputs such as fertilizers, weed control herbicide other inputs to farmers in the state.
The Governor said time had come for farmers in Benue state to move away from subsistence farming to mechanized and commercial farming in conformity with the fitting recognition of the State as the “Food Basket of the Nation.”

Governor Ortom said the agricultural value chain such as land clearing, improved seedling, harvesting , processing and marketing is encouraged to generate employment opportunities for the teaming unemployed youths in the state.

The governor commended the various partners of MAAN such as CBN, USAID and Unity Bank for collaborating with maize farmers to advance the frontiers of agricultural activities in the State.
He said the role of MAAN in cultivating maize and other food crops in Benue state is not only impactful but highly commendable and pledged his maximum support and collaboration with the Maize Farmers Association in order to thrive in the state.

Earlier in his welcome remark, Chairman of MAAN, Benue State Chapter, Mr. Donatus Terkaa Atese commended the Benue State government under the leadership of Samuel Ortom for the proactive and decisive steps he has taken to reposition agriculture in the State.

He lauded the Central Bank and its partners, USAID, Unity Bank, Bank of Agriculture, for the synergy and fruitful partnerships they have brought to bear on the agricultural fortune of the State.

The State’s Desk Officer of USAID, Mrs. Esther Iange called on farmers to take advantage of the Anchor Borrowers Programme of the Federal Government to develop their agricultural potentials. She said USAID is in the Benue state to partner with farmers through sourcing of fund to finance agricultural activities in the State.