From: Ali Abare, Gombe

The Gombe State Government said it has spent N2.7 billion for the procurement of fertilizer for the 2017 cropping season to be distributed to farmers in the state.

Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Dahiru Buba Biri, disclosed this in a chat with journalists, on Sunday, in Gombe.

He spoke after taking journalists round the ministry’s storage facilities where 3000 metric tonnes of NPK and 10, 000 metric tonnes of Urea have been stored to onward distribution to farmers in the state.

Alhaji Biri explained that it had become neccesary to inform the public against the backdrop of allegations that government failed to put in place any arrangement to distribute fertilizer to farmers with the cropping season already underway.

According to him, “Government has made adequate arrangements as you can see from the fertilizers in our stores that would be distributed to farmers immediately,” he said.

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He explained that the state government is facing challenges in the supply of particularly NPK from the federal government through 11 blending fertilizers across the country.

The commissioner explained further that so far only 3000 out of the 10, 000 metric tonnes of NPK have been supplied, with approval to lift additional 6 metric tonnes.

“We have already in stock the earmarked 10 metric tonnes of Urea but we have to delay the distribution until we have 60 percent of the required NPK,” he said.

He allayed the fears of farmers in the state that government would commence the distribution of the commodity immediately.

He explained further that government will subsidise fertilizer to farmers in the state following approval from Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo.

The commissioner disclosed that presently, a bag of fertilizer cost the state government N5000 and is expected to be sold to farmers at N5500.