Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
Gombe State Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya stated on Wednesday that agriculture remains a vital force in the state’s striving for self-sufficiency, necessitating the introduction of several agricultural intervention initiatives in the state.
The governor stated this while flagging-off the sale of fertilizers to farmers for 2020 wet farming season. He declared that Gombe is an agrarian state with about 80% of its population engaged in agricultural activities.
Governor Yahaya explained that support and development of the agricultural sector are crucial to economic development, food security and sustainable livelihoods for the people of the state.
‘We are determined to leverage on our comparative advantage in agriculture to unlock Gombe’s industrial potentials. It is to this end that we allocated about 250 hectares out of the 1000 hectares earmarked for the Gombe Industrial Park for the purpose of developing an Agricultural Industrial Cluster in order to provide room for enhancement of the agriculture value chain,’ the governor stated.
He further disclosed that the state government has procured 20,000 metric tons of assorted fertilizers to be sold for N5,000 per bag to farmers across 11 Local Government Area of the state.
‘This is a clear testimony of our commitment to improving agricultural production in the state’ he said.
He added that bulks of the fertilizers have been supplied directly to the local government areas for sale and distribution through the polling units, ‘so as to reach the grassroots. Our objective is to ensure that our rural farmers are supplied all the basic farm inputs at their doorsteps without necessarily going through bureaucratic or economic red-tapism associated with the past.’
The governor expressed appreciation for the Federal Government’s selection of Zange-Wawa grazing reserve for the pilot implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Project.
‘We have been assisted with agricultural inputs and farm implements by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in order to actualise our agricultural transformation agenda.’
Governor Yahaya disclosed that the state government is working toward the revival of farm service centres to serve as one-stop shops for agricultural services in the state and that the administration is also tapping into the irrigation potentials of major dams in the state to diversify the economy, improve productivity, and to enhance the state’s revenue generation to ensure job and food security.
In his remarks at the flag-off ceremony, the state Commissioner of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Alhaji Muhammad Magaji, explained that the ministry has made adequate preparations to ensure that the fertilizers get to farmers in the grassroots.
‘The ministry has repaired all the 31 stores and all have been stocked with bags of the fertilizer as directed by the governor. Furthermore, staff were trained and posted to all the sales centres, the commissioner said while assuring that the ministry is ready to work with the state’s fertilizer distribution committee to ensure effective sales and distribution of the product to farmers in the state.