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SUNDAY TRUST

Jun0 3,20 12

Fertilizer still beyond reach of poor farmers Low fertilizer usage and inadequate supply of improved seed va rieties are to a large exte 'l t the major causes of poor agricu ltural prod uction in Nigeria . Now that governmen t says it has introduced elect ro nic wa llet system, how many fa rmers are better off? Iy MiWhll.lsiw

He said. -A large number of farmtn here cultivate maiu, millet, groundnu!, cowpea and rtcc..Our(arnunccd fertlli:r.cror manure to replenish. wt ynr I bag of (cruhur was gl~n 10 a group of thr« 10 fi~'e farrnC'r'S to share. Thu was grossly Insu(· ndmt. Most fumen t'5pcdally women W'C"R: nol. given bcc:I USC fertili7Lr mallcn ~rt handled by poiIIKi.ns.- He $lId he is not registered by governmenl officials in the new sha ringsy.tem

ABUI)UIJ.AHI Guba in A,lvd bgc III N gcof Stolle who p~tica mi.Xnl faJ mini SiIIid he w-..s una bk 10 gel JIIMidlUd fcrtlhzu in 2010 and 2011 dt:sp&1~ ~I bousht • N8 of nt,lna (urn) for NJ, 600 in 2'110. In 201 I UK price IIKrelllN and I had to buy. baga' NS~o;ooll d mlud 11 with molnurc Ollcken n.nu~ b effccth-c only (Of" ClOP a' the latter staSC of 8ww1h I 01 early and de5troyJ pbntl if aprlln! In LarwquantilY GarbI ai:t he is not r~isltTCd in the ntw tl«lronic wa1kt s:ysttm. Both the ftdttal and stale

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govttnmmls have subsidlzn:l !cn.illzu 0.. along bme }"el runll

rarmt'n I IV't' acarcdy bftw:fltcd. Thou~h

It 15 apKled 'hat ferti -

hut sub.ldy will make the peke .fford.hI· to fanners. the dUlri oollon (0' mw. rhChcd the tvget the p<K)r (Irmns. Rather politi ciaru In I aiKX)lJ with civ,1 SC'tv Inu dlwrt the important input and go Ie 110 the highest bidden. ~h (Went and slatc SO" trnrncnl . provl<k ZS perccnl rriu sub ;Idy leach as the farmt'n

.re u~ In) to ~1 SO pcrc~1. A JOlIrc~ al 1M fedcraJ f~rtiliur o(nct'in \bup saki Iht' dislribu tionprucSlin2011 w.,h.ndl~ by ""Ia md local gonfnmmts. AThe mi,li ..try'. ~llercd SlIp-pylng CI.mpania supplied t~ rcqulrul Mgs 10 ncb . Iil lt' wMR: 1M- com n ..MHK~rI of Igrieul turt' t'ndl'n.td Ifttr lUCt'rlalning Iht' quan itv tuppUtd.. The: fe:rtl hze II ti1c«fie:J' shared lmong the: local 8'"Wemmmt lre:u for distribul on 10 farmers_ The fact b ttt.l l 1M- ftrtiliu:r is COlilin' di~fled 10 lhe bIKk m.rkti or pvm 10 J'arty supporle rs.- I source: stlled. In 20lC the ft'<k~1 gowrn men! prtt _'Kled 1M SlIm olN22JO billion I. 2; pm:mt,wbstdy for 1M rmcurtmconl and dlSlnbutlOll of 900,000 mcolric lonl of , ubs, dlud fel'liUun loslales and the Ffticnl ( apital Terrtlory valutd II N,II9_11 billIOn. MOSl farm rn romftllll1N that ~rnmenl offKil ls esrrcw1y II lhe' Ioal ~nm 'Ot k¥d shared the: ftr tuiU'f 10 pohtlCl.! usociales and tKh fam .~ An orncill of lhe mlntsl!') 01 agriculture' in AbuJa AId Ihe: rrublrm With the: dlslri budan ptoceu was thai the: kim lity ol t'annm wu no( t'5tabllshrd Ind majonty of lhosr who got the' frrt.tliur ....fie: no( ~Ili and in the met fold Itw fe:J1i11ur to the flnnrllill markrt IWnTIl Infhlrd

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In 21111 govttnmc.nI nr .. ma rked \l6's71.000.000 for the liIlUf \1arkct Stabilization 'BRl1l1nr, N67.llO,4-40 fOr fC'r.

Idllt:r Qw.hIY Cont rol and Mon .. itoring Stlndard; N IOO,08I,87S for Orpnk Fauliur lkvd opInent Ind Promotion; Ind N61,9S7.D91 for the Fe:J1.i.Iizcr Devtlopmenl ~ t re. Rum fann en who wen supposed to be glY'm fe:J1lliUl"could not get Itduelo the" poor distnbution Iplem and cor· Nption. This ~ar, lhC' fcde-nti ~rn .. menl lbolished the. di5 tribul'on syslem In whKh stale and Ioal council olTkials ~ giVUI fe:J11 hur to disln"bule 10 local fllnnen Ind ame up With I s}'1tC'm alkd Growth En~ncement SUJ"POrt Undtr it, a nrW sharing for .. mula calItd E1cct.ronic WaIkI in which (lIfrncrs Will grt alIoalkln for IC'Cds II1d fcrtiliun by tOOr mobIle phones without anymter .. mrdtuy WIt put losrthu. The (armcs arc direcliy ft'Sutcrcd by the gowmmmt and glve:n code numbe"n which they can 5C'nd through SMS to a gmcontl code Ifltr buy;ng two bags olfcrtllitt'r from specified deaJns 1M sum of N2.7SO subsidy for each bag paid for by the. zovernment and domKucd II I dc5ignatcd bank ,"nunl wUllhcn be" IUlomatklUy transferred into the deam bank account whilcthe farmer pays the' remaming A smallholder farmer in Kuduru VIllage in Bwari lrea council Abu;.. Yakubu !sa sakl he- mlde ~I allC'mpU to pur dwe ~ubsklJud (erttll~ (rom the' offICIal diltributors but could not get it In 20t I Mj wm l lO Ihe dislnbulon thrC'C' times bulcould not zct. ln 2010 , bought four begs II markd price and mued IhmI with manure' which lignifiant1y Incrc:ucd crops yield. I sot 1) bags of malu and a truck kMd of (Usava in 2010 due 10 fertilizer

MANURE mllde from chkken dung Is good but an damag e Iprouting crops

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arpIica!lon In 2011 the output

"",,". • lSI said the inabiluy 10 IPpty key nutrient clements Including nitrogen. rhOSfhOfUS and potu · sfum to the sot dur 10 J'OOf sup ply of fcrtulur has g.rntly affecled the output of rural fumers. Another probkm alfKling smallholder f.lrmcTl In the area IS lack of InlpfOYed seed vane· lies and processing fldil ties for cue or mlruting. bulkiness and J"CrilhIbihlY o( casAva. Umltrc! I CCess to credit. inadequate supply Ind high prke of fcrttllur have to a large U lent hampered crop production. he said. l ie said he wasn't lware- of the new c\c( . tronk syslem and has not bcc:n

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lawai Sule CWIlvaics cereal and tuber crops on his 10 hactre fa rm In B~ri. Abuja.. He ROt live bags of subsldlud NPK t"c.rlIli:r. .. en from govnn mconl and bought I dditional l 7 bagul ntJrtd prn.

Aln 2010, wt ~rveslcd live bags olmane on thehrm but In lOll , I SOC m.~r 20 bags after ferlillur Ipplkatk)n- Sule Is rcgistf'red in this year's dKlfOmc J)'11C'111 In Kaduna SUIt, I (armer from RIga Chukum lown Auwal Musa who $rows cereal, Ind legumes complained o(lnadcquate supply ofsubskl il.cd fcrtiliur but saki he' bought Ih~ subskliud bags of NPK with the help of (armen union in lOll Hf'saKI he hi' no hope of getting .ubsklued fe:J1i · hur this year because he is not ~If'red In the new dectronk distriblllion s)'1'tem In Kara~ local government ara. Kano State I fllrmer who would not want 10 be named said In 201 1 govttnmc.nt surrlkd limJltd nu m ber of bags and the diJl ributlon JIfOCm wasn't Irgili. mile Each poIitk:al w.rd In the area was giVUI bdwccn fi~ and 20 bags 10 shi re' It the subsld iud cost ofN2,OOO ~ bag.

lames islls I local farmer In Gin. NISUlIWI State who saki he wu unable to get the subsidized ftrtiliu:r (rom gDftfnmmt and had 10 buy thr« bags I t markc1 price last ynr He comrlalncd that he Is not lware of the new mobUe phone ferlili:r.cr dutnbutkm system this year. Adamu Ukt: is another fallTlC'T in Ukc. Nasaraw. Stale who grows tuber and ccrnls did not get ,wbsldiud fe:J1i1i7.cr In lOll bul boughl five bags al marlttt price_ -Govffn .. ment mlUl Intrnsify effort 10 Iddress the problem of fertiliur shortlge. Majotily of the rum farmen here are not rtglslercd this ynr~ hr Ippcakd. Ou t of 100 milhon mobtJr phone UJC'l'S In the counlry. 80"nnmenl hu smcrated l.5 million (umm In rum arns, thought 1M govc:rn mc.nl laf!Cted S millIOn farrnC'r'S thls year "Governmmt is largeting 148.000 farmers In each of the northcrn states and 120.000 farmers in each of the IOUthern stales. Bul most of the Slale govern . menll are rducUlnl In ;oin the new system b«:ause it will nol favour pohlicilru who liways Wlnt to woo Rlpporters. The Minlsler of Agnculturt, Dr. Akinwunml AroAdC'SinaAkl the- drcision WIll taken 10 better thr 101 olfarmcn who slruggle to get fcruhur and thillt the process will eliminate corruption associ · lied wllh most govcornmcnl processes. Ind do aw.y With inlellTlC' dllnes. lie IIkI the pipeline of pro Cure:tncnl Ind dislribuOon IUcd bcfa«: ls Ihe probkm. brcalUC' that rlpclinedocs not reach II rcrccnt of the farmen. MThis means the most cntiat! Input ls not gC'ltmg to the hands olfannen that nted II. So thai means government's procurC'mcol and dislribuuon is Vtr)' Indfccttve, incfrKicnt. not COSI effKli~ and ls iI ~ry CorNpt S)'5IC'm," he lamented.. lie added, -A kJt o( lhe ferti Iiurmds up In tM hanwaf polit .. leal flrmen and thry sd1 it back to the markd al a higher price. Some I re taken Inlo ndghbou,· ing countries Ukr Niga. Mali tic.-

DAILY TRUST, 03 JUNE, 2012  

Fertilizer still beyond reach of poor farmers