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Kebbi shifts focus to other agro commodities

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Kebbi. Photo: BBC

Still basking in the euphoria of the success recorded in rice production, which stands at 3.56million mt, the Kebbi State government is shifting to other agro commodities, for which the state has competitive advantage.

Currently, the state is exporting to neighbouring countries-Niger, Benin Republic and Libya, and generating about N150b from sale of paddy.

The Guardian learnt that aside rice; the state also has potential for wheat, shea butter, soya beans, tomato, hides & skins and Gold & manganese, which it would soon be exporting in large quantity.

Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu told The Guardian that aside being number one in the onion market, it is also number one in water melon market, adding that the state is also rich in the cultivation of pepper, ginger and hibiscus flowers.

He disclosed that the state has entered into a pact with an indigenous company for a $330m ultra modern World Class Sugar Processing Plant, sited in Augie Local Council Area, a border town between Kebbi and Sokoto States.

He said: “We are also tapping into honey production, that shows how ambitious we are. Groundnut oil is something we have across the state; in the eastern part we are working with the Flour Mills of Nigeria and WACOT on soya beans. Last year FMN actually exported soya beans meals made from soya produce from this state; we are glad that the private sectors are already responding to these.

“All these agricultural transformation drive of this administration has encouraged farmers to not only be active and productive, but has to a large extent reduced youth restiveness as the state is adjudged the most peaceful state in the northern geo-political zone.”

While noting that the state has vast arable land and can boast of over three million practicing farmers, representing 70 per cent of the state’s population, Bagudu added that there is plan to increase the state commodities production capacity in due course.

He noted that the state has facilitated provision of credit and inputs to farmers through the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme; promotion of value chains/additions in the sector; and signing of agreement with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to explore potential of ethanol, using the state’s abundant sugarcane plantations.


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