The Kano State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources Dr. Nasiru Gawuna says the agriculture sector can be totally transformed into the economic backbone of the country if farmers get the basic things needed to boost farming.
He stated this in an interview with a team of agriculture Correspondent in Kano state North-West Nigeria.
Dr. Gawuna said if the government can make fertilizers affordable and accessible to farmers it will have tremendous effect on farm produce in the country.
He said what the current administration did to get Agriculture on track was to revamp a fertilizer blending company that existed in the 1980s that was abandoned over the years by investing some money in it so that it can cater for the fertilizer need of the farmers in the state.
“His Excellency said he was going to revive the fertilizer blending company, and true to his words, he injected about 500 million Naira, in the first instance to revive the place, made sure that it runs independently without interference so that it can produce affordable fertilizer, quality fertilizer and available fertilizer”
He said after careful assessment of how much was spent on producing a bag they decided to sell at 5,500 per bag with good interest.
The commissioner added that the state government made sure farmers had easy access to fertilizer by ensuring that the fertilizer blending company have centres in the 44 local government of the state thereby saving the farmer the stress of travelling to the city centre to buy.
Dr. Gawuna added that the soil mapping system that was formulated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture was used to identify the best formulation that suits the soil in the state.
“We also used the soil map produced by the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, they brought the soil mapping system of all the 36 states to identify that this soil in Kano requires 20-10-10 0r 20-5-10 and in 2016 we produced 20-5-10 and all the farmers that used it were very happy because they had high yield” he stated.
He said the current administration has encouraged farmers to go back to wheat farming and this step has yielded fruits as Kano states has produced over 10,000 hectares of wheat.
Dr. Gawuna said one of the major challenges of wheat production is the issue of seeds.
He said the state is collaborating with the Lake Chad research institute to produce quality seeds for wheat farmers in the state.