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-To aid them to return to farm lands post flood

The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization today handed over a quantity of agriculture and livestock inputs to small scale farmers.

The inputs handed over to the farmers included seeds, fertilizers, hand tools and livestock medication and were given to them in an effort to aid them to return to their farm lands post the 2021 flood.

The sum of material handed over is valued at $8.9 million dollars.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha highlighted that small scale farmers are a key aspect needed for the development of the agriculture sector.

Apart from the materials received, farmers also stand to benefit from training provided by the two organizations.

“Farmers and technical officer stands to benefit also from training worth approximately $29,000 US dollars and these agriculture inputs as well as capacity building exercises will continue for two years”

Meanwhile FAO’s country representative Dr. Gillian Smilth while delivering brief remarks at the ceremony praised the Government for all they have been doing to support small farmers, while noting that the 2021 floods has indeed had an impact on them.

“For many small farmers the support that they get makes a huge difference and that’s where we’re focusing our efforts’’

Furthermore, the subject Minister pledged the commitment of the Irfaan Ali led administration to continue supporting small farmers.

Minister Mustapha urged the farmers to use the materials given to them in the best way possible.

Since assuming office the PPP/C administration has been placing heavy emphasis on the agriculture sector and particularly to small scale farmers.

The Agri Ministry has carried out a number of drainage and irrigation works to better benefit farmers during the rainy season and also farmers recently, farmers who suffered losses during the rainy season last year benefitted from cash grants.

Farmers within the context of a homestead (farm, ranch, estate) received $100,000 each and those with kitchen gardens received $50,000 each.

For rice farmers who suffered loss during the sowing period received $80,000 in cash per acre while those whose land was prepared but not sown received $45,000 per acre.

Meanwhile, in excess of 2,000 livestock farmers had also been affected, and so, an aggregate of $600 million in direct transfers was made available to subsistence farmers, small farmers, medium-scale farmers, and large-scale farmers.

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