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Kebbi rice farmers lament fertilizer scarcity

Rice farmers in Kebbi State have expressed concerns over their inability to secure fertilizers for the rainy season, saying the shortage of the product will hamper their output.

A prominent rice farmer along the Dikku Road, Birnin-Kebbi, Alhaji Ibrahim Guluma, while speaking with our correspondent on the plight of the farmers, noted that despite their readiness to buy the product at the rate of N7,500 at the open market, it was not available.

Guluma, who has four hectares of rice farm, stated, “I could not secure fertilizer from the government this year, and I tried to buy from the open market, but it is not available.”

He noted that he usually harvested about 30 paddy bags of rice from his four hectares of rice farm for every rainy season, but said he was not sure if his output would surpass last year’s due to scarcity of fertilizers.

Similarly, Mallam Muhammad Ileya-Yari, who has been farming on his two-hectare land on subsistence level for many years, said, “The state government only provided fertilizers for farmers last year at the rate of N6,500; but this year, we have not been able to get fertilizers from the government.

“We were told that we can get fertilizers from the open market at the rate of N7,500 or more. So, it will be difficult to get enough fertilizers this season for our rice and that can affect our output.”

On his part, Malami Umaru from Kofar Dididi area, Birnin-Kebbi, said, he had not got any fertilizer from the government for the current rainy season.

Umaru, who has been cultivating rice on three hectares of FADAMA land for the past 15 years, lamented that “when the government gave us fertilizers last year at the cost of N6,500, we had a good harvest; but now, the product is scarce in the open market.”