The farmers alleged that government officials in charge of farm inputs like fertilisers were selling them and also using them on their own farms.
Members of Ekiti Farmers’ Community Association in Ikole-Ekiti have appealed to the governor-elect, Abiodun Oyebanji, to put an end to the theft of fertilisers meant for the farmers by civil servants in the state’s ministry of agriculture.
Olatunji Ayegbusi, chairman of the association in Ikole Local Government Area, made the appeal in an interview on Tuesday in Ikole-Ekiti, alleging that the distribution of farm inputs, especially fertilisers donated by the federal government, has been politicised.
Mr Ayegbusi said that whenever the federal government distributed farm inputs through the state’s Ministry of Agriculture, the officials would not allow the inputs to get to them.
He also alleged that the government officials in charge of the farm inputs were selling them while others were using them on their own farms.
“On behalf of the farmers’ association in Ikole-Ekiti, I want to appeal to our governor-elect, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, to empower farmers by giving us fertiliser and soft loans, to enhance food production in the state.
“The Federal Government has been giving out fertilisers to farmers across the federation, but our own allocation is being diverted.
“We farmers are suffering in the hands of kidnappers, herdsmen, and the farm inputs that we need to make our work easier are too expensive to procure.
“I want to appeal to the state government to consider our plight and set aside budget for agriculture and empowerment of farmers in Ekiti,” he said.
Mr Ayegbusi urged the governor-elect to give priority to farmers welfare, urging that inputs and incentives to be distributed to the farmers should be channelled through the chairmen of farmers’ associations in all the 16 local government areas of the state.