Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The government of Zamfara State has secured the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to finance 60,000 farmers in determination to boost the acceleration of cotton development and remedy the shortage of land for farming due to insecurity.
Special Adviser, Zamfara State Directorate of Accelerated Cotton Development (ZAMDACOD) and Chairman of the State Project Management Team, Abdulahi Maiturare, who made the revealation said that the state government has also dedicated 130,000 hectares of land in the seventeen emirates.
Disclosing in a statement he issued in Abuja that the partnership is through CBN’s commodity associations, Maiturare said: “During his campaigns, the peoples and masses governor, Dr. Bello Mattawallen, had promised to revive the agricultural sector with emphasis on cotton production.
“This necessitated the reorganization of the Directorate of Accelerated Cotton Development (ZAMDACOD) and assigned with the responsibility to pilot the activities of the Directorate.
“On assumption of duty as the Special Adviser to the Governor in charge of the directorate we had a wide range of consultations with the government, partners and the private sector on how to cross the probation in which the governor during our swearing placed us,” he added.
Maiturare further pointed out that; “the success story as at today is that the state government under the leadership of Mattewallen has secured the CBN’s approval to finance 60,000 farmers in the state through their commodity associations.” “Under these arrangement, 30,000 farmers each would be drawn from cotton and rice farmers.
Arrangement to that effect is on top gear. Cotton farmers are to be treated under the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACATON0) while the rice farmers are to be handled by the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).
“In order to achieve the success of the programe and to remedy the shortage of land for farming occasioned by insecurity and allied factors, the State Government has dedicated 130,000 hectares of farm land in the seventeen emirates of the state.
“Equally, the state government in collaboration with the Raw Material Research and Development Council has secured 4.5 tons of cotton seed suitable for our farmlands which was estimated to cover 2,000 hectares. The gestures are geared towards supporting cotton farmers with improved variety seed free of charge. This is in addition to the allocation of two utility vehicles to the Directorate by the state government,” he added.
Commending the Zamfara State governor for reviving the cotton production, Maiturare praised his commitement to influence the revival of the ailing textiles industries and other indigenous cotton ginneries in the state, charging the farmers to reciprocate the gesture by being supportive of all government policies and programmes.
“The change has indeed blown and brought good people of the State a saviour in the person of Mattewallen, Maradun, Barden Hausa who came to salvage the citizens of the state from the bondage of insecurity, unrest, illiteracy maladministration and misplacement of priorities thereby instilling good orientation and bringing back to function some of the abandoned and neglected sectors of development including the revitalization of the ailing cotton industry,” the statement read .