Niger State Government has forwarded the data of 142,623 farmers as beneficiaries of the Agro Pocket Initiative of the Federal Government.
The initiative which is under the National Agricultural Growth has Niger State as a pilot State and it is targeted at increasing food productivity, improvement and delivery of farming inputs among others.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Musa Salihu Bawa disclosed this during the post Executive Council Press briefing at the Government House, Minna.
He explained that the data sent to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has 96,000 rice farmers; 23,200 maize farmers; and 23,423 Cassava farmers for dry season farming.
Salihu Bawa highlighted some measures being evolved by the State government towards making the State the Food hub of the Nation, including the recent delivery of 300 tractors and 200 power tillers adding that more tractors and power tillers including planters, harvesters, among other inputs would be brought in.
The Commissioner said the tractors, power tillers and other farm inputs that are being supplied by John Deere are in line with the Memorandum of Understanding earlier signed with the State Government.
He said the tractors would be paid with farm produce such as sesame, maize, rice and soya beans instead of cash as the state government will off-take from the farmers, adding that the profit would then be shared 60/40 per cent ratio between the State government and the farmers respectively.
The Commissioner also noted that land preparations are ongoing in many Local Government Areas for the cultivation of 250, 000 hectares of land across the State.
Salihu Bawa stressed that the policy would not in any way take away the farmland of the locals, as wrongly insinuated by some, but would rather pave the way for prosperity for the farmers and the State.
The Commissioner also disclosed that the State Government through his Ministry will also assist farmers in terms of supervision and training through Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to boost their yields and guarantee food sufficiency and security.
He said a Committee on recovery of grazing reserves was recently inaugurated by the Farmer Governor aimed at utilizing lands for mechanized Agricultural activities.
The Commissioner said the policy is already getting support from the farmers as the State government is synergizing with all critical stakeholders including Traditional Rulers in sensitization of the people.
On her part, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hajiya Binta Mamman who coordinated the press briefing solicited support and synergy of the media in reaching out to the people on the good policies of the Farmer Governor.
She said the State Government will continue to work in harmony with the media to achieve the desired objective.
Bologi Ibrahim
Chief Press Secretary
to the Governor of Niger State
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