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Borno spends N1billion on fertilizer, faults FG on e-fertilizer sales

By on June 17, 2013

Borno State Government has opted out of the Gross Empowerment Scheme ,GES, the ongoing federal government’s electronic fertilizer sales scheme due to lack of telecommunication, which is a major component of the scheme.

The state government had also faulted the scheme which it said had not given the state full control over the distribution of the products to farmers across the state.

The state said it has approved over N1 billion for the procurement of 15,000 metric tones of Urea and NKP fertilizers for this year’s cropping season.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Honourable Usman Zanna disclosed this yesterday in an interview with newsmen in Maiduguri, the state capital. He stressed that the need to accord top priority to Agriculture in the state with a view to enhancing food supply can no-longer be over emphasized considering its importance to the development of human psyche.

Zanna said, the need to opt out of GES became necessary, as the state government did not fully benefit from the GES programme of last year, because, apart from not fully monitoring and controlling the system, the programme was launched very late in the state, which hindered farmers from utilizing the products, in addition to lack of telecommunication services and incessant network failures which made it difficult for the federal government and the end users to communicate on how to access it.

To this end, Zanna stated that the state government under Governor Kashim Shettima has approved the sum of over N1Billion for the procurement of 15 metric tones of fertilizer in addition to the existing ones at the store which will soon be distributed directly to the farmers across the 27 council areas of the state.

The Commissioner noted that government attached more priority to the agricultural sector as it constitutes about 70% of the state population who are engaged in the practice of agriculture.