The Federal Government, under its National Emergency Agricultural Intervention Fund, is targeting at least 23,000 farmers in Benue State.
Concise News reports that those to benefit from the agricultural inputs are either persons affected by the 2018 flood or by the farmers/herders conflicts.
A deputy director of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Dr Martins Ejike, who led the agency’s team to Benue on behalf of its Director-General, Mustapha Maihaja, told newsmen yesterday in Makurdi that the Fund was initiated as a palliative for affected farmers in the two emergency areas.
He says the government’s intervention programme in the agricultural sector would address the two categories of farmers affected to give them a sense of belonging.
Agriculture forms the backbone of the Benue State economy, engaging more than 70 per cent of the working population. This has made Benue the major source of food production in the Nation. It can still be developed because most of the modern techniques are not yet popular to 98% of Nigeria. Mechanization and plantation agriculture/agroforestry is still at its infancy. Farm inputs such as fertilizers, improved seed, insecticides and other foreign methods are being increasingly used. However, cost and availability is still a challenge. Important cash crops include soybeans, rice, peanuts, mango varieties, citrus, etc.
Other cash crops include palm oil, melon, African pear, chilli pepper, tomatoes etc. Food crops include Yam, Cassava, Sweet potato, Beans, Maize, Millet, Guinea corn, Vegetables etc. There is very little irrigation agriculture and techniques.
Animal production includes Cattle, Pork, Poultry and Goat but no dairy and dairy products yet.