‘FCT farm­ers have redeemed their GES al­lo­ca­tions’

Daily Trust - - AGRICULTURE - By Ahmed Dio Agbo

Against the back­drop of pur­ported zero re­demp­tion of farm in­puts by farm­ers from some agro-deal­ers in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try in the Growth En­hance­ment Sup­port Scheme (GES), which has been in place for about two years now, the Federal Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT) Co­or­di­na­tor of the pro­gramme, Al­haji Ovurevu Isa Ade­moh, has de­nied the oc­cur­rence of such in­ci­dent in his area.

Speak­ing to Daily Trust in an exclusive in­ter­view, re­cently in Abuja, Ade­moh said that since the in­cep­tion of the pro­gramme, no agro-dealer has com­plained of farm­ers not com­ing to take their prod­ucts.

But our in­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed that since the GES scheme started, many farm­ers, agro-deal­ers and even pol­icy au­thor­i­ties, have been lament­ing on the var­i­ous chal­lenges they faced dur­ing the re­demp­tion ex­er­cise, es­pe­cially zero re­demp­tion.

Some of the ma­jor chal­lenges pointed out by many of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries, agrodeal­ers and other stake­hold­ers in­cluded the lack of money to pay their 50% part of the sub­sidy, lack of ac­cess to the re­demp­tion cen­tres, lack of ac­cess to hand­sets, poor net­work, il­lit­er­acy/ ig­no­rance in han­dling elec­tronic in­puts re­demp­tion by lo­cal farm­ers, and poor aware­ness of some of the prod­ucts listed in the pro­gramme, among oth­ers.

Feel­ers from the Federal Fer­tiliser Depart­ment in­di­cate that since the pro­gramme started, some agro-deal­ers in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try have gone back home with the goods they brought to the re­demp­tion cen­tres from far and near to be redeemed by farm­ers, grossly dis­ap­pointed by many of the farm­ers who did not show any in­ter­est in their prod­ucts.

Fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions showed that more aware­ness and sen­si­ti­sa­tion cam­paigns by ser­vice providers and the govern­ment are needed for the pro­gramme to make pos­i­tive im­pact on the in­tended ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

Mean­while, our re­porter gath­ered that this year’s GES rainy sea­son farm in­puts re­demp­tion has taken off from the south and will move to the north­ern part of the coun­try soon.

Pg. 36


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