That there may be enough food…
• Kogi State procures tractors, bulldozers, and other agric equipment for farmers
FARMERS in Kogi State, at the weekend, rolled out their drums to celebrate what they described as a new dawn in the history of the state during the commissioning of tractors, bulldozers, pay loader and other earth moving agricultural equipment procured by the state government for lease to farmers at highly subsidized rate.
Mr. Sunday Adaji, one of the farmers who spoke to The Guardian during the commissioning, said many of his colleagues had given up hope because as individuals, they could not afford the cost of the machines but now they could hire the equipment cheaply to work in their farms.
Another farmer, Mallam Suleman Baba, said the hope for Nigeria was still in agriculture, saying, “Governor Wada is a man of vision for putting the state resources where everyone can benefit.”
Speaking at the occasion, Kogi State Governor, Idris wada, said his commitment was to reduce the cost of agricultural production to the barest minimum.
He said that the cardinal thrust of his administration was to create a conducive environment for especially the youths, women and others to engage in farming beyond subsistence level.
Wada said in spite of the dwindling resources from the Federation Account and other competing demands in the state, he took the bold step to further demonstrate his commitment to agricultural transformation in the state by making the equipment available.
According to him, his administration was committed to adding value to the various aspects of agriculture by making them real businesses.
He tasked the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that the equipment were effectively and efficiently deployed to the people and for the benefit of the state.
The special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Prof. Dominic Akpa, said the equipment would enable more land to be cultivated.
He said that the transformation agenda of the government was focused initially on rice production as one of the crops in the value chain development, but that since last year, cassava came on board with the flagging off of the Alape Staple Crop Processing zone in Kabba Bunu zone.
He declared: “Rice cultivation, which was very low before the inception of this administration has improved significantly as large expanse of land is now devoted to rice cultivation.
“Rice transformation Agenda is working. The rice mill at the Kogi ADP has just started commercial production and this came about by the state government’s initial rice cultivation at the massive alluvial flood planes at Sarkin Noma and Ukumi, where about 20, 000 hectares were cleared at the beginning of December, 2012 and by the rice year of 2012/13, a yield of about 500metric tonnes were obtained.
“Then in 2013/2014 rice year, we harvested about 250 metric tonnes. It is this output that we are processing currently in the mill at the ADP.”
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