‘FCT farmers have redeemed their GES allocations’
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.