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Kebbi farmers get N63m inputs supply from WACOT

Businessday - January 14, 2015

West African Cotton (WACOT) limited, one of Nigeria`s agricultural input supplying companies, has put in place a scheme to engage farmers in Kebbi state in the value chain development of some selected crops.
This is coming on the heels of the N570 million that has been paid to farmers in Argungu, Zuru, and Jega Local Government Areas of the state, for the procurement of seeds and fertilizers.
According to facts obtained from the company, this is in addition to the N63 million worth of farm inputs provided for the farmers in the state.    
Abubakar Aliyu, leader of the rice farmers group and Programme Coordinator in Argungu LGA, said the area produced best rice species in the country and that is the reason it has attracted increased investments from investors and urged people to redouble their efforts in order to tap the commercial opportunities.
In preparation for the full implementation of the value chain development programme, the company has started assisting the farmers in forming themselves into co-operative groups in the state.
The management of the company gave this hint, during the first health awareness camp programme which took place in Argungu Local government area of the state, disclosed that the crops selected for development are: rice, soya bean, maize, cotton, and sesame seed.
Speaking as a guest of honour at the event, Sama`ila Muhammadu –Mera, Emir of Argungu described the commercial farming opportunities embarked upon by the company as a window of opportunity to fight poverty and improve the living condition of the farmers.
He assured the company of the commitment and support of the traditional rulers in the state, and state government in making the programme a success, adding that the company`s existence in the state has brought succour to the people. Also commended the state government for allocating 25 hectares of land to the company within his emirate and enjoined residents to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the company.
Anuuji Bhatia, head of corporate social responsibility of WACOT, revealed that the concept was conceived with the aim of changing farmers’ perception from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture. He used the opportunity to thank the residents of people of the state, and the state government for the support the company is enjoying in the state, stating that it became one of the major states beside Katsina and Gombe states, where the company has scaled up its CRS activities.
According to him, the company has embarked upon different interventional programmes, which includes health Awareness Camp, farmers self help groups’ formation, capacity building of women and farmers empowerment. He also promised that the company intended increasing the frequencies health awareness camps in the state, as well as holistic integrated development of farmers in the communities with the aim of making the farmer self reliance.
In the same vein, Shivananda Gali, head of the Rice unit of WACOT in Kebbi, explained that the company started business with cotton ginning in 1997 and expanded to become one of the large scale seed industry in Nigeria apart from its role as the major supplier of all agric inputs like fertilizer, chemicals, sprayers, tractors and other farm mechanizations among others.
Shivananda added that the good atmosphere enjoyed by the company necessitated it to take it as its moral responsibility to reciprocate and give back to the society.
 
 

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