Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse
Despite resistance from Gagarawa residents against the citing of multi billion naira sugar company in the community, the Jigawa State Governor, Muhammad Badaru Abubakar, has assured that the project is a done deal.
Governor Badaru, who made the assurance on Sunday, while inspecting the ongoing plantation project, said already sugar cane yield from the seed plantation is averaging 100 tons per hectare, almost 20 percent more than expected.
Managing Director of the company, Mr. Ding, who conducted the governor round the plantation, said the site had been expanded to 150 hectares in the first phase and would get to 1,000 hectares by the end of the year, on the way to meeting the 12,000 hectares target in three years.
Mr. Ding declared that the plantation has the largest and most sophisticated fertigation plant in the country, where a fully computerised control room regulated irrigation, fertiliser and pesticide application throughout the plantation is automatic, using sensors in the field.
The Gagarawa residents had earlier protested and accused the state government of grabbing their ancestral lands to sustain the business of some expatriates.
The governor, on his part told journalists that an irrigation canal of 17 kilometres long and costing over $37 million is expected to carry excess water from the Hantsu River to the plantation barrage, and would afford farmers along the route the opportunity to engage in dry season farming for the first time.