The Jigawa Government has said that it is continually providing farmers in the state with all necessary inputs to reduce their cost of production and to revolutionise its agriculture sector.
Gov. Badaru Abubakar told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse on Friday that it was for that reason the state government allocated N7.4 billion to the agriculture sector in its budget for 2016.
“What we do in agriculture does not require serious money, but we spend money on research and development to get the right quality of seeds for the farmers, to give them support and subsidy on fertilizer and all the inputs.
“What we do is to look into their cost of production and see how we can intervene to bring it down – soil mapping and soil analysis.
“I believe the money is enough and for sure we are heading for agricultural revolution in Jigawa State.’’
According to Abubakar, the sum is four times higher than the amount allocated to the sector in previous budgets of the state.
He explained that with the huge allocation to the sector, the government would be able to effectively exploit the agricultural resources in the state, diversify the economy, provide employment, and improve its revenue generation.
The governor said that his administration had given out 30, 000 hectares of agricultural land for rice cultivation in the state.
He told NAN that 15,000 hectares of the agricultural land went to Dangote Group, while the other 15,000 hectares were allocated to peasant farmers.
“Dangote has requested for 30, 000 hectares of land, but we allocated only 15,000 hectares to the company and gave the remaining 15,000 hectares to our farmers.
“Dangote is in value chain production of rice and we want to utilise the opportunity to expose our farmers to the modern technology in farming.
“We have set up a trial farm in Auyo and some of the farmers will be outgrowers.”
Badaru said that the state government in collaboration with the company would distribute improved seedlings to farmers to boost production and enhance their enterprising skills.
According to him, this is a deliberate effort to ensure sustainability and enhance competiveness among the farmers.
On the cultivation of perishable goods, the governor said that the state government was working with Dangote Group to facilitate the establishment of a tomato processing plant to check spoilage and wastage.
He said that the government would distribute improved tomato seeds to increase yield from 12 to 40 tons per hectare, adding that farmers would also be trained to use modern tomato cultivation techniques.
“On tomato farming, we discussed with Sani Dangote; he has a factory now at Kadawa and we have the intention of having same factory in Jigawa State to help our farmers that grow tomatoes to have ready market and reduce the wastage they experience.
“And we selected a site where we will have controlled production of tomatoes.
“So, that will be complete revolution and the wealth generation for the average farmer.’’
Abubakar said that the state government was doing its best possible to encourage farmers to cultivate beni-seed.
He also said that the government had entered into partnership with WACOT Group of Companies whereby it would provide ready market for the produce.
The governor stated that the state government has re-constituted its Consumer Protection Committee to check the indiscriminate adulteration of the produce and encourage genuine trade on the produce.
“We have revived the consumer protection committee to check impurity and enhance trade with WACOT,’’ he said. (NAN)