In a bid to ensure that only credible and genuine farmers are eligible to enjoy the proposed plans to introduce subsidy on fertilizer products across the state in line with the food security action plan of the Osun State Government, the committee to oversee the distribution and monitoring of fertilizer has been inaugurated by the governor.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in that regard in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Prince Wale Adedoyin, stated that the governor in his wisdom had deemed it necessary to inaugurate the committee for the effective distribution of fertilizers which would facilitate the eradication of activities of fake farmers, selfish politicians and greedy individuals.
According to the commissioner, “these groups of individuals collect fertilizers from the government at subsidized rates and later sell to the right farmers at higher price. The fraudulent activities of these groups pose big problems in the distribution of fertilizers in the state”. Adedoyin also assured that there would be objective distribution of fertilizers to the right farmers in Osun State because of the composition of people on the 10 man-committee.
“A total number of 72, 000 bags of fertilizers currently purchased and another 6,000 bags from the Federal Government allocation would be distributed”, he said.
Members of the fertilizer distribution and monitoring committee include:
Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security as Chairman, Programme Manager, OSSADEP as Secretary while members are Professors Olasupo Ladipo and Olu Odeyemi, O-REAP Programme Manager, Dr. Gboyega Oguntade, Mr. Lanre Olapoju, Dr. Kolapo Oluwasemire, President, All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria, Osun State Chapter, and President-General, Osun Farmers’ Congress.
The terms of reference for the committee are: to determine the types and actual quantities of fertilizers required by Osun farmers on an annual basis; to make adequate arrangements for the procurement of fertilizers and availability of adequate stocks at all times and to design and implement an efficient distribution mechanism that ensures the individual farmer in Osun can procure fertilizer of the right quality and quantities at the right time and in a very convenient manner.
Others are: to develop a fertilizer distribution system that ensures that only credible and active Osun farmers enjoy the benefits of the state government subsidy on the product and to promote the adoption of fertilizer; its proper application and adequate use by Osun farmers through an innovative agriculture extension system.
In their responses, two members of the newly constituted committee, Professors Odeyemi and Oladipo commended the governor, for the demonstration of zeal in transforming the agriculture sector in the state. The duo suggested the utilization of state and local government agric extension officers to employ more of the extension workers for easy identification and in dealing with the right and practising farmers in the state.
The vice-chairman of the committee would be chosen by members at a later date.