Go back to farming, Gov Bago urges youths
Niger State Governor, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, has called on youths in the state to go back to farming. He said the government will ensure 250,000 hectares of land are cultivated and urged the youth to take advantage of the arable land.
The governor made the charge yesterday during the flag-off ceremony for the distribution of improved seedlings, fertilisers, and farm inputs to 640 farmers across the 25 local government areas of the state.
The programme was a partnership between the Niger State government and the World Bank-funded Agroclimatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL).
He said the government was determined to ensure that each local government cultivated about 10,000 hectares of land for various crops. He ordered the relevant ministries to facilitate the noble idea as part of his administration's strive towards developing agriculture.
At the event, the governor thanked the partners for their support, disclosing that the state will meet its counterpart funding to facilitate more interventions in the state. He then called on the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the items and avoid the temptation of selling them.
He said each of the 640 beneficiaries was to get two bags of 50kg NPK fertiliser, one bag of 50kg urea fertiliser, two litres of herbicide, one litre of pesticide, and 10kg of rice and maize, as well as 5kg of improved sorghum seeds.
He reiterated his administration's resolve to reach out to bandits terrorising the state, disclosing that his government has created the Ministry of Nomadic and Pastoral Affairs and has appointed a Fulani man into the cabinet as commissioner to bring them into governance.
He said this was aimed at finding solutions to the security challenges in the state by ensuring that the ungoverned areas are occupied and monitored by the herders, who are mostly in the bushes.
The National Coordinator of ACReSAL, Abdulhamid Umar, highlighted that about 700 million dollars have been earmarked for the project to be tapped by the 19 northern states in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, and that the project was also targeted at improving the agricultural sector to enable farmers to boost agriculture to ensure food security.
The permanent secretaries of the ministries of agriculture, environment, and state planning commended the partnership, saying it will improve agricultural yields and the living conditions of farmers in the state.