Damagum - Dr Bukar Tijjani, Minister of State for Agriculture on Monday said that 148 000 farmers in Yobe would benefit from the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme for the 2012 cropping season.
Addressing newsmen in Damagum in Yobe after launching the GES fertiliser sales to farmers, the minister said "the scheme is targeting five million farmers across the country this cropping season".
He said that government was aware of the challenges of inadequacy of fertilisers under the scheme.
"We are looking at the possibilities of over-coming this challenge in subsequent cropping seasons."
The minister said the scheme had checked the problems associated with diversion and monopoly by marketers, adding that farmers under the scheme had been given the right to buy products from their preferred marketers.
He said that GES was intended to provide food and security and ensure availability of seeds and fertilisers to farmers.
"The scheme will also assist in moving farmers from rudimentary subsistence practice to a commercial-based agriculture for an increased income to farmers."
Yobe Governor Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam who was represented by the state's Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Idi Gubana, said that government had procured 17 500 tonnes of fertilisers for distribution to farmers this cropping season.
He said that government had paid N90 million counterpart fund to IFAD and N35 million for dredging of River Hadejia to enhance water flow for irrigation.
The governor noted that government had also provided bore holes, water pumps, improved seedlings and fertilisers to irrigation farmers across the state.