Governor Abdulai A. Sule of Nasarawa State has directed the Permanent Secretary, Nasarawa State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Naphtai Jarumi Dachor, to commence arrangements with qualified private investors in the agricultural sector in the state to secure the state as the largest food producer in the country, this is just as he said such move will help his administration to provide more job opportunities for youths in the state.
The decision is coming just few days after Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo in company by the state Governor, top government functionaries and stakeholders holders in the agricultural sector laid the foundation of a rice mill of 1000 tonnes daily capacity at Gate Farm City own and operated by the Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society.
The Governor who made the directive on Monday after meeting with representatives of NFGCS and Kiakia Bits in Government House, Lafia, commended the group for the strides and the level of development attracted to the state in the last three years. While he assured them of his support in the provision of electricity and road infrastructures, Governor Abdulai promised to secure over a billion naira loan from the Central Bank to facilitate expansion in the farm.
Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Naphtali Dachor, who spoke with the group in a second meeting held at the instance of the Governor, said the government became interested to partner with the cooperative due to the massive agricultural revolution already initiated by the group in the state without support from major financial institutions, noting that it is an initiative the state is prepared to key into.
According to him, “this will be one of Mr Governor’s strategies to create new jobs. He also wants to see how we can replicate successful agricultural venture across the various local government councils in the state”.
He said the model the government wants to adopt is that which encourages private sector to be involved in agriculture business, partner with them and then use their knowledge to replicate several agriculture ventures across the state. He added that the idea was also to boost the technical capacity of youths in the state.
Mr Dachor promised to work with his technical partners in the ministry to take a critical look at the proposal sent to him and work on the governor’s directive before sending the resolutions of his team to the Governor within the month.
“The Governor finds it very impressive giving the strength of the employment level your farm”, he told the visiting team.
On his part, Mr Retson Tedheke, coordinator of the cooperative promised to continue to create an outline that will work and build the capacity of the local people in state. “This is all we are asking for. We are training the trainers and building an expansive structure. We are ready”, said Tedheke.
Also representative of Kiakia Bits (NFGCS’s major lender and technical partner), Mr Chiemeziem Anyadike, stated that the core responsibility of Kiakia in the entire process is to ensure that funds meant for projects of this nature are carefully distributed and to guarantee at least 89% refund at duration period. He said Kiakia has not only assisted in giving out loan support for NFGCS but had also been able to offer technical assistance, which account for most of the success recorded by the group in the last three years.
Meanwhile, in another development, the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk- Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) has commended the performance of the Nigeria Farmers Group And Cooperative Society over what it described as overwhelming.
Head Projects Monitoring, Reporting And Remediation Office, Lafia, Mr Noel Dilli made the commendation when the group visited NIRSAL office on invitation on Monday.
Mr Dilli said NIRSAL has taken particular interest in NFGCS’s projects as it is already widely reported. “NIRSAL has come and stay and we are ready to work with you this time”, he noted.