By: Muhammad Muhammad
Niger State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had constructed 1,196.7km of rural roads and had been allocated the sum of 4.4billion in the 2018 Expenditure framework by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.
During a Ministerial World Conference organized by the Niger State Ministry of Information and Strategy, the Honourable Commissioner Niger State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Haruna Nuhu Dukku stated that the sector is charged at increasing food security in the state, creating wealth and employment opportunities for rapid economic growth of Niger State.
Alhaji Nuhu Dukku said from 2015 to 2018 about 774,200 bags of NPK fertilizers were procured and distributed to farmers in the state with 1.2billion released for the purpose, the commissioner confirmed that 130 units of tractors had been procured in addition to existing 36 tractors that have been refurbished and repaired, he further explained that 80 units of multipurpose grain threshers have been procured.
The Agric Commissioner affirmed that 630million, 150thousand was expended in the procurement of grains from 2016 to 2018 which was handled by Niger State Supply Company, the commissioner said Niger State has keyed into the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme a federal government initiative to produce new generation of farmers.
Alhaji Nuhu Dukku further stated that 10,000 youth are to be engaged in growing maize, soya beans and rice, he said already about 2,000 youth in the state had produced the products in Mokwa, Borgu, Chanchaga and Wushishi on a total land area of 2000hecters. The commissioner stressed that the target now is to empower additional 2,000 young farmers for the 2018 dry season irrigation farming.
The Agric Commissioner said under Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, over 20,000 farmers has participated in the CBN Anchor Borrowers Program for the cultivation of soya beans, cotton and rice. Alhaji Dukku highlighted that 100 youth were trained in Green House Technology and over 500million was paid as counterpart contribution of the state government from 2015 to 2018.
Under the present administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, the Agric Commissioner pinpointed that Fadama III additional financing had rehabilitated 31.10km of roads, reconstructed 96 access roads of 396km with 93 culverts and 17 mini bridges constructed. He further pointed that 5 irrigation schemes were rehabilitated, construction of 6 aggregation centers and training of 351 youth on agric enterprises.
Under Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, the Agric Commissioner reiterated that the Rural Access and Mobility Project had constructed and rehabilitated 186.6km of rural roads in the state, he said about 563km of roads are currently undergoing construction and construction of 30 river crossing in the riverine areas of Niger State.
Describing the Value Chain Development Program of the state as success, the Agric Commissioner stated that 20km of rural roads are in various stage of completion, Alhaji Dukku said about 30 power tillers have been acquired and distributed to farmers.
Also, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program had empowered about 2000 farmers for cultivation of sorghum and rice on 3,500hecters of land, Alhaji Dukku confirmed that 4 solar motorized boreholes and 6 hand pump were drilled, construction of 4block of classrooms with toilets, 2 health centers, 2 market stalls and 1 technology demonstration center are all completed by ATASP under Governor Abubakar Sani Bello administration.