Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom the day past launched the distribution of seedlings and crops to farmers throughout the 23 local government areas.
Performing the ceremony at the headquarters of Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Makurdi, Governor Ortom stated the seedlings and crops are high yielding and drought-tolerant that could meet global demands.
He mentioned that the buying and distribution of seedlings to farmers is a Growth Enhancement Support to small-scale farmers to improve food production and grant raw materials for industries springing up in the state.
Reiterating his call on the Federal Government to end the invasion of farmlands by Fulani herdsmen for Benue people to fully return to the farm, Governor Ortom praised the Bureau for Local Government and the 23 council chairmen for making the event possible.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Timothy Ijir commended the Governor for payment of subsidies on agricultural inputs, provision of tractors to farmers at quite subsidised rates, and dogged advocacy against open grazing.
While calling on the non-public sector to engage in the manufacturing of improved seedlings to make them easily reachable to farmers, Dr. Ijir stated the seedlings would be disbursed to 23,000 farmers throughout the state.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ken Achabo stated the exercise was part of electioneering campaign promises kept as the administration had promised improved crop production which would go a long way in supplying succour to farmers.
Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Benue State chapter, Caleb Abba stated the move would aid farmers whose seedlings had been destroyed by herdsmen however have little respite to go back to their farms.
During the flag-off, 4,666 improved rice seedlings, 230 bags of maize seedlings, 690 tins of melon seedlings as well as 10,000 cassava stems were earmarked for distribution to 1,000 farmers per local government area.