Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has restated his administration’s commitment to boost agro processing, floriculture and exotic fruits production, as the state celebrates Democracy Day.
Lalong stated this while inspecting some private farms in Jos North Local Government Area, as part of activities to commemorate the Day.
Inspecting Majesty Farms which specialises in floriculture, the governor said that he was committed to ensuring that Plateau restored its past glory of exporting flowers, it was in the 70s.
He said the agriculture sector had a lot of potentials in in the state to be harnessed in flowers and exotic fruits production,saying it would create job opportunities and generate more revenue with which to finance development projects.
He said this would empower youths, reduce over dependence on oil, adding, “majority of people in the North are farmers, we are agrarians, if we engage in farm, we do not need oil, farm is our oil,” agriculture is our oil.
“That is why we also urge people, especially traditional rulers, to encourage peace, because without peace there will be no farming and the economy will suffer,”Lalong said.
He urged the people to take advantage of the agrarian nature of the state and be involved in agriculture to empower themselves and to improve their livelihoods.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Istifanus Finangwai, in his remarks, urged the people of the state to diversify in agriculture, explaining that agriculture was not only limited to livestock and crops farming, but also other ventures such as horticulture, which he said, was under exploited.
Finangwai said the Lalong administration in its efforts to boost diversify the sector, had provided incentives to farmers and the enabling environment for their business to thrive.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Majesty Farms, Mr Bulus Gwashi, said he ventured into floricuture, following findings that Nigerians were importing flowers from East and South Africa.
Gwashi said flower farming was viable, even though it required perseverance to enjoy the dividends of the sector.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor also visited Dabe farms, an exotic fruit production farm.
He also inuagurated road projects in Jos North Local Government Area and inspected ongoing construction of roads in Jos South Local Government Area, as part of the celebration.(NAN)