The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development Mustaapha Baba Shehuri, has flagged off the distribution of Agricultural inputs to smallholders farmers in Gombe, as part of the Ministry intervention to reduce the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural production in Nigeria.
While flagging off the inputs distribution in Gombe, the Minister expressed readiness to collaborate with the State government other relevant stakeholders to assist in ensuring food security, economic growth and Job creation, especially in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.
Mustapha Baba Shehuri, says the restrictions of movement and goods and services has negatively impacted on food supply chains and incomes on the livelihood of the people across the country, particularly smallholders who are the most vulnerable.
According to him, it becomes imperative for the government to support the smallholders farmers with the much needed inputs especially seeds, which is the most important factor that would enable them to recover quickly from the setback brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Minister noted that, all the seeds, agrochemicals and equipment are being given to farmers free of charge to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and flood on the affected farmers, saying the effort and other complementary intervention by different stakeholders, federal government would continue to encourage the resilience of farmers and boost the national food security system in the country.
Speaking at the occasion, governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, said about seventy five percent of people in Gombe State are peasant farmers and the gesture would go a long way in assisting the smallholders farmers with quality inputs that would enable them to sustain their livelihood.
The governor noted that, Gombe is also blessed with three Dams of Dadi Kowa, Balanga and Cham, which made it to become one of the viable state for agricultural purposes.
The agricultural inputs distributed includes 2.5 metrics tone groundnut seeds, 5. Gum Arabic seedlings, 15.metric tone of rice seeds and 1,500kg of cashew nuts among others.