The Federal Government has taken proactive measures to enhance yam farming in Kaduna State, North-West Nigeria, by distributing improved yam seedlings and other crucial agricultural inputs to farmers and extension agents.
Mrs Raheem Adejoke, a Senior Agric Officer at the Federal Department of Agricultural Extension Services, spearheaded the distribution. Adejoke expressed that the initiative primarily aims to ramp up yam cultivation and as a secondary benefit, offset the flood’s adverse impacts on many farmers in the area.
33 farmers are slated to benefit from the distributed inputs, which include improved yam seedlings, fertilisers, and both pre and post-emergence herbicides. Adejoke highlighted the simultaneous emergency empowerment distribution across the Northwest, Northeast, and North Central regions, focusing on staple crops vital for household consumption.
Dr Timkat Nanfa, the Coordinator of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Kaduna, asserted that farming without inputs is counterproductive. He emphasized that quality inputs are the bedrock of successful farming and are essential to achieve improved yields.
Adding to this, Mr Muhammad Rili, the General Manager of the Kaduna State Agricultural Development Agency (KADA), mentioned that the selected beneficiaries, primarily small holder farmers, were those most in need of this support. KADA has plans to monitor the use of these inputs, ensuring they’re used for their intended purpose. Rili issued a warning against those considering selling the received inputs and emphasized KADA’s commitment to ensuring the benefits are genuinely utilized.
One of the beneficiaries, an extension agent named Nasir Abdullahi, pinpointed the cost of inputs as the most significant hindrance to yam farming in Kaduna. However, with the government’s support, he’s optimistic about introducing improved yam seedlings to local farmers and expects a positive reception.
The efforts by the federal government have been appreciated by beneficiaries and stakeholders alike, and it’s hoped that these initiatives will lead to a boost in yam cultivation, strengthening food security in the region.