Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has disclosed that his administration is committed to Nigeria’s attainment of food security to achieve zero hunger by 2030.
Governor Bello who made this known yesterday during Niger State Special Day at the ongoing National Agricultural Show holding in Tudun Wada, Nasarawa, said his administration had spent N2 billion in the purchase of Tractors with implements to eradicate hunger.
He revealed that the state sold the equipments to Farmers’ Cooperative Societies across that state to encourage agricultural mechanisation in the state.
The governor who was represented by the commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Haruna Nuhu Dukku, further revealed that his administration had distributed 50 units of Rice Threshers valued at N19.74million to cooperative groups to ease rice processing for enhanced value addition.
He said, “We went a step further to by handing over the management of these tractors to the Tractors Owners’ Association of Nigeria (TOOAN) and Machine and Equipment Consortium Africa (MECA). They are vested with powers of managing and operating the Tractors on behalf of beneficiaries until repayments are completed.”
He however, stated that the state keyed into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) programme for the youth by releasing its counterpart funding to the tune of N142 million to jump start the implementation.
He further listed the CBN programme to include Anchor Borrowers Programme where he added that over 20,000 farmers were participating in cultivating Rice, Soya Beans and Cotton, and Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme aimed at providing employment opportunities.
“For this, more than 10,000 youths are to be engaged in cultivating Rice, Maize and Soya Beans.”
The governor also revealed how the state under his leadership succeeded in eliminating middlemen in fertilizer distribution this year.
He added that the state had deliberately reformed the fertilizer distribution network to remove the corrupt practices associated with the exercise before now and seeking directly to the farmers.
“We deliberately reformed the process of selling fertilizers to farmers by eliminating most forms of corruption and middlemen syndrome by evolving a policy that allows us to partner with agro inputs dealers in the state who then sell fertilizer directly to the farmers at government approved price.
“Using already established farmers’ data and their locations based on the past implemented national growth enhancement support programme (GES) the distribution was seamless,” he said.
On his part, Alhalji Dukku whose speech was read by his counterpart in Livestock and Fisheries, Alhaji Zakari Bala, invited investors in the sector to the state, stating that the present administration had created enabling environment for agro business to thrive with agricultural investment incentives which encourages mechanisation.
He said, “This is in line with the determination of the present administration in the state to leverage on out vast potentials in agricultural and solid minerals sectors to boost the economy and improve the socioeconomic status of Nigerlites and Nigerians in general.”
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