Farmers in Edo have decried the unavailability of fertilizers for their use, in spite of the operation of e-wallet system of distribution of the commodity as recently introduced by Federal Government.
They lamented that they had been without the crop-enhancement farming input since the commencement of the current farming season, noting that they had gone through 95 per cent of the season’s activities without the fertilizers.
Alhaji Mohammed Abdulahi, Coordinator of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Edo North senatorial district, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Auchi, that the situation was discouraging to the farmers.
“We are in August and I can tell you that no farmer in this state has received one grain of fertilizer and we are at a loss on what to do”, he lamented.
He said that the e-wallet system, which the government said would be effective and timely in the distribution of the product, had failed to meet the expectations of farmers in the state.
Mohammed, who, however, lauded the e-wallet system, remarked that many factors were not considered in its formulation.
He said that people who the e-wallet system was meant for were not carried along while the policy was being formulated.
“When formulating a policy, government should always take into account the people whom such policy is meant for by planning with them and not planning for them”, he stated.
He admitted that some farmers in the area got phone alerts, which directed them to places where they could find fertilizers, but that the addresses given in the alert messages were “fake”.
According to him, the place we were asked to go for our fertilizers was a residential building in Auchi and not a warehouse as one expected and of course, the product was not in the premises.
“We were happy when we got the alert and we immediately rushed to the address, but to our surprise the address was not only residential, there was nobody in the building who knew about any plan to distribute fertilizer there.
“I have personally visited and re-visited the place to be sure we were not wrong.
“The painful aspect is that there is nobody to reach or discuss with on this issue in case of this type of problem, as the alert did not contain any telephone number.
“I even went to the state ministry of agriculture where I met the commissioner and his response was that the state was not involved in the new fertilizer distribution system”, he said. (NAN)