Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
United States, Germany and Norway have assisted 35,000 farming households with implements to boost farm production during the dry season farming in North-east region.
The three nations, in association with the European Union, through the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) are providing the assistance to boost dry season farming in the troubled North-east region.
Speaking at the launching of the dry season farming support in Maiduguri, Borno State, thursday, the Country Representative of FAO, Mr. Suffyan Koroma, said the programme is targeting around 35 000 vulnerable farming households in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
Koroma, who was represented by the Head of the Maiduguri field office of the UN agency, Alhassan Cisse, said: “The dry season is an important season for farmers in the region. The harvest from dry season cultivation provides income for farmers with which they address food and other household needs during the season.”
He added: “A post-harvest survey of our 2018 dry season support indicated that farmers earned average of N24, 500 from okra sales; N40,000 from onion sales; N43,200 from tomato sales, and N78,400 from rice. The income generated was useful in addressing household needs.
“Noteworthy also is the report of a beneficiary in Monguno who built a house from his earnings.”
Cisse revealed that: “Under the FAO support this season, beneficiaries will receive mix of vegetable seeds, including okra, amaranth, onion, tomato, cabbage, carrot and rice seeds.”
He added that with collaboration with the federal government and the Nigerian military on the transportation of fertilizer, FAO will also distribute 25kg bags of NPK 15-15-15 fertilizer to the farmers.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Borno State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Kadafur, who represented the state Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara, commended the effort of FAO and its partners in boosting agriculture in the North-east region.