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4,000 farmers receive disease resistant potato seedlings in Plateau State

By George George Idowu

Over 4,000 Irish potato farmers hailing from Mangu and Bokkos local government areas of Plateau State have been equipped with potato disease-resistant seedlings to combat the devastating effects raging havoc on farmers for the 2024 planting season.

A civil society organization, Solidaridad, in collaboration with the Kingdom of The Netherlands, spearheaded the distribution of these seedlings to smallholder farmers, marking the commencement of the initiative in the two LGAs on Wednesday.

Recall that last year, Solidaridad carried out similar effort, by providing farmers with improved seedling varieties cultivated in demonstration farms within their communities.

Community facilitators, trained in best agricultural practices, disseminated knowledge to farmers using these demonstration farms as practical learning hubs.

The distributed seedlings originate from these demonstration farms, ensuring farmers have access to optimal planting varieties, with ongoing support from community facilitators.

Addressing attendees, Kene Onukwube, Solidaridad’s Programme Manager, emphasized the disparity between smallholder farmers and commercial producers, highlighting the former’s need for inputs and support to overcome challenges such as climate change and limited access to finance.

Onukwube underscored the seedlings’ resilience and early maturation, expressing optimism about collaboration with the Plateau State Government to impart agricultural knowledge and tackle food insecurity.

He emphasized the expansion of the initiative beyond Mangu and Bokkos LGAs to encompass other relevant local government areas.

In her remarks, Esther Pwaspo, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, lauded the program’s potential to bolster both food security and commercial agricultural endeavors.

Representing Governor Caleb Mutfwang, she urged farmers to adhere to established procedures to maximize yields.

Farmers pledged to utilize the seedlings effectively, demonstrating their commitment to enhancing crop cultivation and ensuring food security at both state and national levels.



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