The Federal Government has distributed improved yam seedlings and other inputs to farmers and extension agents in Kaduna.
Speaking during the distribution on Sunday in Kaduna, Mrs Raheem Adejoke, a Senior Agric Officer at the Federal Department of Agricultural Extension Services said the aim was to boost mass cultivation of yam.
Adejoke, who supervised the distribution of the inputs, said the gesture by the Federal Government was also to mitigate the effect of flood in 2022 which affected many farmers.
She said that 33 farmers would benefit from the improved yam seedlings, fertilisers, pre and post emergence herbicides.
She also said the inputs distributed were emergency empowerment of the farmers and extension agents which is simultaneously carried out across the Northwest, Northeast and North Central region.
Adejoke said the federal government was targeting staple crops which many households consume, where in Kaduna it brought the improved yam seedlings.
She urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the inputs, noting that the Federal Government is investing in them to achieve food security in house holds and the nation in general.
Similarly, the Coordinator of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Kaduna, Dr Timkat Nanfa said that farming without inputs was a waste of time and resources.
Describing agricultural inputs as the pillar of farming, he said, they boost production which would translate to better yield and harvest.
According to the coordinator, the state of yam farming in Kaduna which is predominantly in the Southern part is discouraging, noting that with the inputs, farmers would have increased yield.
Also, the General Manager of the Kaduna State Agricultural Development Agency (KADA) Mr Muhammad Rili said beneficiary were identified to be small holder farmers.
According to him, the identified farmers were more in need of such support, noting that it was aimed at encouraging them and assisting their means of livelihood.
Rili therefore said the agency will monitor the beneficiaries to ensure they make use of the inputs, adding that they have taken their comprehensive data base.
“We have zonal offices. We will send signals to our Zonal Managers in order to follow up on the utilisation of the inputs.
“We will carefully watch those who are fond of selling farm inputs they got through gestures and goodwill, going forward, we will now put it into consideration of who to benefit and who will not.
“Our objective and target in KADA is to ensure that such gestures to small holders farmers is used, utilised and appropriately deployed for yield full seasons,”Rili said.
He thanked the federal government for choosing Kaduna State as part of the gesture, while looking forward for more collaboration and support towards agricultural development and empowerment of rural farmers for economic reliance and agricultural sustainability.
One of the beneficiary, Nasir Abdullahi, an extension agent, said the most challenging factor of yam farming in Kaduna is inputs.
He said that high cost of inputs was a major set back to alot of farmers who wished to farm yam.
He therefore said with the inputs he got from the government, it would increase his capacity and that of his farmers.
“As an extension agent, I do make use of improved varieties of crops, my farmers really believed in what ever I take to them.
“I am 100 per cent sure that when I introduce this improved yam seedlings to them, they will accept and try it wholeheartedly,”Abdullahi said.
He thanked the federal government for the gesture, while pledging to make judicious use of the inputs.(NAN)