Kaduna state has put measures in place to check any act of fertiliser diversion that could lead to it being re-sold above the official price of N5,000 per bag, the Commissioner of Agriculture, Hajiya Halima Lawal, has assured.
Speaking in a press statement issued on Saturday, the Commissioner said despite these measures, there were reports of some individuals buying up fertilisers by proxy.
“These middlemen, through their agents, buy up as many bags of fertilisers as possible, with the intention of reselling above the official price of N5,000,” the Commissioner said.
She, however, warned that security operatives are on the lookout for such suspicious moves and culprits would face the full wrath of the law.
According to her, “the ministry has been making radio and television announcements, advising residents to report all suspicious cases of diversions or any illicit activities. Whistle-blowers should remain assured of their anonymity while reporting to these dedicated telephone numbers: 08030453360, 08029133240.’’
The Commissioner warned perpetrators to desist from such unpatriotic acts that pose a threat to food security and the economy. She noted that security agencies have been sensitised to respect the status of the essential services granted to farmers and workers in the agriculture value chain to enable them to move around during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hajiya Halima commended farmers for working tirelessly to ensure food availability amidst the lockdown, adding that they should feel free to access their farms and continue the production of food for the current cropping season.
The statement encouraged farmers to use the stability of rains in the last three weeks for land preparation and other farming activities for the 2020 cropping season, adding that the “ministry, with the support of partners, has deployed fertilisers and other inputs to all the 23 local government areas in the state.
‘’Similarly, companies that sell improved seedlings and other farm inputs have been encouraged to set up shop at the various fertiliser sales points, enabling farmers to purchase all required inputs in one-stop-shops across the local government areas for time and cost-effectiveness,’’ she added.